Varicose Veins and Men: What Can be Done? Part 1 of 2
Men make up approximately 50 percent of the population. However, only about 25 to 30 percent of patients seen for varicose vein treatment are male. Why is that, and what should men do if they experience the discomfort associated with varicose veins?
Normand Miller, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT, vein specialist with Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), explores this phenomenon and outlines what men should do if they experience itchy, painful, or unsightly varicose veins. Dr. Miller is the lead physician at the CVR locations in Salem and Nashua, New Hampshire.
Are men hesitant to seek treatment for varicose veins?
Dr. Miller says that only about 20 percent of his patients are male in his practice because men tend to "drag out the issue longer than women before consulting (a doctor for treatment)."
While female hormones and pregnancy put women at higher risk for developing varicose veins, men share many of the same risk factors for developing varicose veins, including family history, obesity, sitting or standing over long periods of time, and smoking.
Do all men who seek a consultation get treated for varicose veins?
“Varicose veins that do not cause symptoms such as aching, throbbing, itching or swelling are left untreated. However, there are some exceptions to this rule,” says Dr. Miller. In general, Dr. Miller recommends at least the use of compression stockings to prevent symptom progression. Please consult your vein doctor if you have questions about the benefit of compression stockings or of a vein procedure in your case.
Watch Dr. Miller’s video here
How do compression stockings work?
Compression stockings and compression socks are a special kind of snug, stretchy, elastic hosiery that comes in different strengths and styles, depending on the wearer’s needs. By gently squeezing the legs and ankles, compression stockings help improve blood flow toward the heart, where it belongs. By preventing blood from refluxing backward to the feet, swelling and discomfort of the lower extremities is decreased.
Men of all ages can benefit from wearing compression stockings, including:
Anecdotally, athletes report that wearing compression during exercise aids performance and endurance by increasing oxygen delivery to the heart and decreasing stress to the muscles. Many studies suggest that using compression stockings post-exercise may speed recovery and reduce muscle soreness.1
Wearing compression stockings after surgery can help prevent blood clots, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), from developing in the leg by forcing fluid out of the legs and into general circulation.
Those who sit or stand for long periods of time
Men who sit or stand for long periods, whether for work, play or travel, are at increased risk of swelling, fatigue, heaviness, varicose veins, and DVT because of the pooling of blood in the legs and feet. By gently squeezing the legs, compression socks can offset the effects of gravity by boosting circulation in the legs and improving lymphatic drainage.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Normand Miller
Men, you don’t have to live with the aching, throbbing, itching, and unsightly appearance of varicose veins! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller today by calling 1-800-FIX-LEGS/1-800-349-5347. Our Patient Service Specialists will answer all your questions and help put your mind at ease about vein disease. You’ll wish you sought help years ago!
- Mota GR, Simim MAM, Dos Santos IA, Sasaki JE, Marocolo M. Effects of wearing compression stockings on exercise performance and associated indicators: A systematic review. Open Access J Sports Med. 2020;11:29-42. doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S198809