Can Varicose Veins Be Reversed?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Blog Can Varicose Veins Be Reversed

Most people are familiar with varicose veins, the twisted, bulging, often painful problem veins that typically appear on the legs but can appear elsewhere on the body. According to the Society of Vascular Surgery, up to 35 percent of people in the United States are affected by this symptom of venous insufficiency. Since these leg veins are a common concern, many wonder, “Can varicose veins be reversed, or am I forced to live with them?”

This blog post will delve into the question of whether varicose veins can be cured and explore treatment options.

How do varicose veins form?

To understand if varicose veins can be reversed, it's helpful first to understand what they are and how they develop. One-way valves inside the leg veins maintain regulated blood flow to the heart. When vein walls and the tiny one-way valves inside vein walls become weak or damaged, they can malfunction. This causes blood to reflux (that is, flow backward). Blood pools in the lower limbs, causing veins to grow, distort, and form varicose veins.

This disease process is known as chronic venous insufficiency or vein disease.

Who is at risk of varicose veins?

While varicose veins can affect anyone, certain risk factors increase the likelihood of their development. These include:

Varicose veins often run in families, indicating a genetic predisposition. According to a study published by the AHA Journal “Circulation,” researchers looked at 134 families in France. They determined that patients had a 90 percent risk of developing varicose veins when both parents had venous insufficiency. Another study conducted in Japan and reported in “Circulation” demonstrated that 42 percent of women with varicose veins reported a positive family history compared to 14 percent without vein disease.

This genetic component suggests that certain inherited traits may contribute to weakened vein walls or malfunctioning valves, making individuals with a family history more susceptible to varicose veins and the risks associated with venous insufficiency, including blood clots and venous ulcers.

As we age, normal wear and tear on our bodies accumulate, sometimes resulting in varicose veins. Why? Over time, the valves in the veins may become weaker, leading to inefficient blood flow and increased pressure within the veins. This gradual deterioration is a natural part of aging and can contribute to the development of varicose veins, particularly in older adults.

Compounding this risk factor, in a study reported by the National Library of Medicine (NIH), over 35 percent of individuals aged 65 and older are obese (over 55 percent of Black women). If the current trend continues, nearly half of the elderly population in the USA will be obese by 2030.

Excess weight places additional pressure on the veins, especially those in the legs and feet, where gravity exerts its greatest force. The increased pressure can strain the vein walls and valves, impairing their function and leading to the formation of varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins associated with obesity.

Pregnancy induces significant hormonal changes and increases blood volume to support the growing fetus. These physiological changes can strain the circulatory system, leading to enlarged veins and increased pressure in the lower body. Additionally, the pressure exerted by the expanding uterus can impede blood flow from the legs back to the heart, further contributing to the development of varicose veins during pregnancy.

Sedentary Lifestyle:
Individuals who lead sedentary lifestyles or have occupations that involve prolonged periods of sitting or standing are at higher risk of developing varicose veins. Lack of movement can impede blood circulation, causing blood to pool in the veins and increasing the risk of varicose vein formation. Regular physical activity, such as walking or stretching breaks, can help promote healthy blood flow and reduce the risk of varicose veins associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Addressing these risk factors through lifestyle modifications and preventive measures, such as wearing compression stockings, can reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins and maintain optimal vascular health.

Those already experiencing the telltale signs of vein disease, including leg pain, muscle cramps, leg heaviness or fatigue, swelling, skin changes, or venous ulcers, should consult with a qualified vein physician.

Is there a permanent cure for varicose veins?

Varicose vein disease is a chronic condition caused by damaged vein valves that prevent blood from flowing properly. Therefore, unfortunately, there is no “cure” for vein disease, which is the root cause of varicose veins.

However, there's good news! Very effective minimally invasive treatment options are available to manage varicose veins by closing off the affected veins.

These treatments can address the symptoms, improve the appearance of the veins, and prevent complications. Each has its benefits and considerations, and it's essential to consult with a qualified vein health professional to determine the best option for you.

Vein treatment options include:

  • Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy: Treats varicose veins by injecting a medicated foam solution into the affected vein, causing it to collapse and eventually disappear. Ultrasound guidance ensures precise targeting for optimal results.
  • Varithena: During this minimally invasive foam treatment, specialized foam is injected into the affected vein, causing it to collapse and be absorbed by the body. This leads to improved vein appearance and function.
  • Laser Ablation: Heat energy from a laser fiber seals the affected vein. Blood flow is rerouted to healthier veins, improving symptoms and appearance.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation: A catheter is inserted into the affected vein, delivering radiofrequency energy to heat and seal the vein shut. This reroutes blood flow to healthier veins, alleviating symptoms and enhancing cosmetic appearance.
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy: During this minimally invasive, office-based procedure, problem veins are removed through tiny incisions. The patient requires only local anesthesia, and the procedure offers quick recovery with minimal scarring and excellent cosmetic results.

Varicose vein treatment near me

While venous insufficiency, the cause of vein disease, is irreversible, varicose veins can be managed and symptoms improved through effective, safe, minimally invasive office treatments. At Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), patients can expect compassionate care, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to restoring vein health and enhancing overall well-being.

The 77+ board-certified vein specialists at CVR offer expert care at their network of 110+ vein clinics across America. CVR specializes in advanced vein treatments tailored to individual needs. Their vein physicians possess extensive experience in minimally invasive procedures, ensuring successful outcomes with minimal discomfort and downtime.

CVR accepts many insurances, including Aetna, Amerigroup, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, MultiPlan, Medicaid, Medicare, and more.

Call 240-965-3915 to speak to a Patient Services Representative or schedule your consultation online at a CVR near you today.

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