Get ready for your summer wardrobe by treating your varicose veins now.
With summer nearly here, many patients with varicose veins are faced with a dilemma: suffer the heat in long pants, or opt for shorts, skirts, and short dresses and put their varicose veins on display. It’s a difficult choice for many — but fortunately, there’s a third, better option.
Many patients find that springtime is the perfect time to treat their varicose veins. That’s because the spring months offer just enough time to recover from their varicose vein treatment before it’s time to bring out the summer wardrobe. Learn more about what causes varicose veins, and what treating them entails:
What Causes Varicose Veins
Varicose veins flare up when the valves in the veins criss-crossing the legs, feet, and ankles are unable to pump blood back to the heart. The blood then becomes trapped, stretching the vein walls and producing the rope-like appearance of blue or purple varicose veins. Though most patients are concerned about the appearance of varicose veins, they may also cause pain, prickly sensations, or even ulcers.
Several factors predispose individuals to developing varicose veins. Sitting and standing for long periods exerts pressure on the leg veins. Carrying extra weight can have a similar effect; that’s why pregnant women are more prone to varicose veins, especially after multiple births. In addition, there’s a genetic component, as varicose veins tend to run in families. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, varicose veins affect about 35% of the U.S. population.
Varicose Vein Therapies
Currently, varicose vein therapies rely on surgical techniques that are far less invasive than in the past and allow for quick recovery. Prior to any procedure, a specialist will map the exact location of the varicose vein or veins with an ultrasound examination, ensuring that the surgery is no more invasive than required.
Ablation. For this procedure, the surgeon inserts a small catheter into the affected vein. The vein is then closed off by either a pulse of radio waves or a laser. The collapsed vein is reabsorbed into the body and blood is rerouted to healthier veins.
Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy. Using ultrasonography sound waves, the surgeon pinpoints the damaged vein and injects a foam medicine called a sclerosant into it. The sclerosant sets off a chain reaction that collapses the vein. Similar to ablation, the now-closed vein merges with the body and blood flow moves to other veins.
VenaSeal. VenaSeal therapy uses a proprietary medical adhesive, rather than heat or a sclerosant, to shut down the varicose vein. There is a lower chance of nerve damage to small saphenous veins with VenaSeal, and the procedure requires no locally administered anesthesia. People with varicose veins of two centimeters in diameter or larger, or who have varicose veins deep within the leg, are good candidates for VenaSeal.
After these procedures, patients can return to their normal activities immediately, although they should avoid strenuous exercise for seven to ten days. They can expect to see improvement in appearance and residual symptoms like swelling within one month. Following varicose vein treatment, patients should schedule regular appointments with their vein specialist to monitor their progress.
Patients will also be asked to wear compression stockings as they heal. That’s another reason why undergoing vein treatments in the cooler months is a good idea; these tight elastic garments can be uncomfortable in warmer temps.
If you’ve been considering varicose vein treatment, now’s a great time to start learning more. Contact the specialists at the Center for Vein Restoration for an appointment today — they can help you understand your treatment options and choose a path of treatment that’s best for you.