Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that can be blue or purple in color. They are often lumpy, bulging, or twisty in appearance and occur more commonly around the legs and feet. They occur when valves within veins get damaged or weaken and stop working properly, causing blood to pool into the veins. This gives varicose veins their swollen and enlarged appearance. They can also be accompanied with other symptoms such as swollen feet and ankles, leg pain, dry and itchy skin over the veins, and muscle cramps especially at night.
If spider veins and varicose veins appear alongside other symptoms such as heaviness or aching in the legs, cramping, worsening leg fatigue, swelling in the feet or ankles, dry, scaly skin over the affected veins, and irritation, itching, or burning over areas of the veins, it could be because of Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency is a serious condition where valves in the vein have been damaged or become dysfunctional and blood cannot flow back to the heart sufficiently. If left untreated, Chronic Venous Insufficiency can lead to serious complications such as blood clots and ulcers. Therefore, it is extremely important to screen for possible Chronic Venous Insufficiency if the symptoms mentioned above arise.
When do varicose veins need treatment?
Varicose veins may not always require treatment. However, if they are accompanied by the following symptoms, you need to visit a doctor:
- Heaviness or aching in the legs,
- Cramping, especially at night,
- Worsening leg fatigue,
- Swelling in the feet or ankles,
- Dry, scaly skin over the affected veins,
- Irritation, itching, or burning over areas of the veins
Varicose veins accompanied with these symptoms could be a sign of Chronic Vascular Insufficiency. If not treated on time, this could lead to further complications such as ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and blood clots.
What is the best treatment for varicose veins?
The treatment plan for varicose veins depends on the patient’s outcome goal, the severity of the vein disease, and the general health of the patient. Doctors may first recommend self-care at home for treatment, such as use of compression stockings, regular exercise, and avoiding standing up for long periods of time. If further treatment is required, vein specialists may perform minimally invasive methods such as the following:
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is the most frequently used method of treatment of spider veins. An agent called sclerosant is injected into the diseased veins that causes the veins to stick to one another and close up. The veins are then absorbed by the body, clearing the skin.
- VenaSeal: VenaSeal is a minimally invasive medical procedure in which a bio-adhesive is applied on the diseased veins using a catheter, causing the veins to seal off. The procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Eventually, the veins are reabsorbed by the body.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: In this procedure, a numbing agent is first applied over the area where the veins are. Then, heat is applied using radiofrequency. The heat then stops blood flow in the diseased veins, and over time the veins disappear.
- Endovenous laser varicose surgery: In this laser treatment procedure, heat from a laser is applied to close or shrink the varicose veins. Endovenous laser surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour and does not require hospital stay. You will be able to walk out of the hospital within an hour after the procedure is done.
- Varithena: Varithena is a micro foam sclerosant that is injected into the diseased veins. This is a non-surgical procedure that takes less than 60 minutes in which the diseased veins are closed down and eventually disappear. The recovery period for this procedure is also very short; the patient will be able to move about freely within an hour of the procedure.
If doctors feel that minimally invasive medical procedures aren’t suitable for you, they may recommend ligation and stripping. This is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia in which the affected veins are surgically removed.
If caught early, varicose veins can be easily treated through minimally invasive techniques. It is important to see the doctor when early signs of varicose veins appear in order to avoid further future complications.
If you would like to know more about the best vein treatment options for you, book an appointment with the best vein doctors in California.
The Vein treatment center boasts a team of highly experienced vein doctors who are at the top of their fields and have all been trained at Ivy League universities. All our doctors are fellowship trained and double board certified. With cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology and world class medical infrastructure at their disposal, these vein specialists use the most advanced procedures to treat their patients. To top it all, our doctors know to keep patients’ comfort ahead and treat them with friendliness, patience, and kindness.
Our vein treatment center at San Diego is currently located near the Torrey Pine beach state park, close to the Westfield UTC Shopping center. Our experienced Harvard-trained vein doctors can offer the best care possible to help you.