For most people varicose veins and spider
veins, a common and mild variation of varicose veins, are
simply a cosmetic concern. Unfortunately for others, varicose
veins can cause significant discomfort and are often a sign
of a more serious problem.
If you have enlarged veins readily seen
under your skin, an achy or heavy feeling in your legs, pain
caused by prolonged sitting or standing, or are concerned
about how your legs look, you should make an appointment to
consult with us.
We have taken the time to answer many
of our most frequently asked questions below. If you come
across terminology that is unfamiliar to you, please refer
to our glossary.
Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact
|Varicose veins are gnarled,
enlarged veins close to your skin's surface. The
name varicose comes from the Latin root varix, which
means twisted. Any vein may become varicose, but
the most commonly affected areas are legs and feet.
some Signs or Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
You may have symptoms even
before varicose veins appear. Signs and symptoms
An achy or heavy
feeling in your legs and burning, throbbing,
muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs.
Prolonged sitting or standing tends to make
your legs feel worse.
readily seen under the skin of your legs.
discoloration on your ankle.
one of your veins.
near your ankle, which represent a severe form
of vascular disease and require immediate attention.
Occasionally, veins deep
within your legs are involved. In such cases,
your limbs may swell considerably. Any sudden
leg swelling that may or may not be accompanied
by pain and redness warrants urgent medical attention,
as it may indicate a blood clot.
the Causes of Varicose Veins?
Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest
of your body's tissues. Veins return blood from
your body to your heart so the blood can be recirculated.
To return blood to your heart, the veins in your
legs must work against gravity. This is accomplished
by muscle contractions in your lower legs
which act as pumps toned, elastic vein
walls that help blood return and tiny one-way
valves in your veins. The valves open as blood
flows toward your heart and close to stop blood
from flowing backward.
Varicose veins occur when the valves in your
veins malfunction. As you get older your veins
can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch preventing
the valves from working properly. When that happens,
blood that should be moving toward your heart
may flow backward. Blood pools in your veins,
and your veins enlarge and become varicose.
any Factors that might put me at Risk for Varicose
These factors increase your risk of developing
Age. Varicose veins usually appear between
ages 30 and 70 and once present get progressively
worse with time.
Gender. Women are twice as likely as
men are to develop the condition. Hormonal changes
during pregnancy, premenstruation and menopause
may be a factor. Female hormones tend to relax
vein walls. .
Obesity. Being overweight puts added
pressure on your veins.
Standing for long periods of time. Your
blood doesn't flow as well if you're in the
same position for long periods.
I seek Medical Advice?
If you're concerned about how your veins look
and feel, and self-care measures haven't stopped
your condition from getting worse, its time to
make an appointment.
a diagnosis made?
In making a diagnosis, we will examine your legs
while you're standing and look for swelling. We
will ask you to describe any pain or aching in
your leg. Finally, it may be necessary to perform
ultrasound tests to see if there's any evidence
of a blood clot, determine the location and size
of the leaking valve, and to exclude other vascular
conditions as contributing to your symptoms.
my Treatment Options?
Sclerotherapy. In this outpatient procedure,
Dr. Loiterman injects small- and medium-sized
varicose veins with a sealant solution. The
process closes the damaged valve redirecting
your blood to healthier veins.
Laser surgery. Dr. Loiterman uses a
laser in an outpatient office procedure to seal
smaller varicose veins and spider veins.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy ("fluh-BEK-to-me").
Dr. Loiterman removes smaller varicose veins
through one or two tiny skin punctures. Local
anesthesia is used in this outpatient procedure.
Scarring is generally minimal.
Endoscopic Vein Surgery. You might need
this operation only in an advanced case involving
leg ulcers. Your surgeon uses a thin video camera
inserted in your leg to visualize and close
veins. Only small incisions are needed.
Vericlose System. A new non invasive
outpatient procedure for the treatment of severe
superficial venous insufficiency.
Vein Stripping. Now rarely used or necessary,
involves removing a long vein through small
will Recovery Take?
Since we make exclusive use of the most advanced
and least invasive techniques available, treatment
is most often administered in our office and the
great majority of patients return to work and
regular activities either the same day or with
a 24-28 hour period.
any ways to Prevent these Problems from Occurring?
There's no way to prevent
varicose veins. But, improving your circulation
and muscle tone can reduce the risk of getting
varicose veins or getting additional ones. To
improve circulation and muscle tone, follow these
your legs moving. Walking is a great way to
encourage blood circulation in your legs. We
can recommend an appropriate activity level
for you based on your age, weight and measured
weight. Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary
pressure off your veins.
Watch what you
wear. Avoid prolonged uses of high heels. Low-heeled
shoes work calf muscles more, which is better
for veins. Don't wear tight clothes around your
calves or groin. Tight panty-leg girdles or
uniform compression hose, for instance, can
legs. If your work involves prolonged sitting
or standing, if possible, take three or four
10- to 15-minute breaks daily to elevate your
legs above the level of your heart to improve
Avoid long periods
of sitting or standing.Make a point of changing
your position frequently to encourage blood
Anything Else I can do?
Wearing graduated compression stockings is often
the first approach to try before moving on to
other treatments. They sequentially massage your
legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood
more efficiently toward the heart. The amount
of compression varies by type and brand.
Some people think of compression stockings as
being uncomfortable and unstylish, but their bad
fashion reputation is no longer deserved. Stockings
today come in a variety of strengths, styles and
colors. With the variety offered, you're likely
to find a stocking that you're comfortable wearing.
Prescription-strength stockings are available.
Prices vary, and stockings generally last from
4 to 6 months.
and Alternative medicine?
You may be tempted to try one of the many herbal
supplements that claim to be able to prevent varicose
veins or get rid of them. The active ingredient
in most of the products is horse chestnut. Although
physicians havent ruled out the possibility
of this herb having an effect on veins, it's not
likely the products will do much to eliminate
the veins or relieve the pain they might cause.
Additionally, there are concerns about the purity
of supplements. It is also important to note that
the manufacture of these products isn't closely
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
any complications that can develop if varicose veins
Sometimes, extremely painful ulcers may form
on the skin near varicose veins, particularly
r the ankles. Ulcers are the result of long-term
"waterlogging" of these tissues as the result
of increased pressure of blood within affected
veins. Brownish pigmentation usually precedes
the development of an ulcer. Ulcers require urgent
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