Benefits of Proactive Varicose Vein Care

Benefits of Proactive Varicose Vein Care

Do you dread the thought of swimsuit weather because of your embarrassing varicose veins? They’re not just a cosmetic concern. Over 30 million Americans suffer from venous disease, medical conditions affecting their veins. About one in three patients with venous disease have varicose veins.

In this blog, our board-certified interventional cardiac medicine specialists, Dinesh Singal, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI, and Parthiv Amin, MD, FACC, RPVI, at Cardio Metabolic Institute share their insights on why varicose veins develop, and the benefits of proactive treatment of varicose veins.

Healthy veins; healthy circulation

If you have varicose veins, it’s natural to cringe when you think about wearing a bathing suit, shorts, or sandals. Those knotty veins make you want to wear full-length pants or skirts all year, but there’s an underlying health issue that’s even more important to address. Healthy veins matter.

Fully functioning veins play a crucial role in delivering nutrient-rich oxygenated blood throughout your body so every tissue, cell, and organ can perform its particular function. 

Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from your lungs to your heart. Then your arteries take over and carry nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. When working optimally, veins elsewhere in your body carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart, where it can be exchanged for oxygenated blood.

The perfect storm for varicose veins

This entire process of delivering oxygenated blood throughout the body hinges on one-way valves inside the veins. When they’re healthy and strong, they keep blood moving in one direction toward your heart. Remarkably, most of your veins work against gravity. 

But age, inactivity for long periods, or being overweight or obese damage or weaken the valves. Then they don’t close properly, which allows blood to leak backward and pool. 

This scenario sets up a perfect storm for congestion and increased pressure within the vein, resulting in the characteristic physical appearance of varicose veins – bulging, knotting, and twisting beneath the skin’s surface, which is most common in your legs.

Safe, in-office nonsurgical treatment options 

When you notice varicose veins, it’s best to be proactive. They can cause aching and discomfort, and they may lead to more serious health issues in some cases.

The good news is that there are safe, effective ways to address varicose veins that don’t require surgery to remove the affected vein. The goal of these minimally invasive treatments is to make the damaged vein nonfunctional so blood can freely reroute to healthy veins.

Ablation treatments

Two common treatments that seal off varicose veins are ablation treatments – endovenous laser ablation and radiofrequency ablation. Each treatment leverages a different type of technology, but the underlying premise is the same. Both are also in-office procedures that take about one hour.

You receive a local anesthetic and, sometimes, a sedative to relax you during the procedure. Your vascular specialist then makes a small incision to insert a thin catheter. 

With endovenous laser ablation, your provider uses laser energy to close off the damaged vein. The same process happens with radiofrequency ablation, but instead of tapping into laser energy, your provider uses an electrical current produced by radio waves to seal off the affected vein.

You go home with post-procedure instructions, such as wearing compression stockings, avoiding vigorous exercise for your recovery period, and elevating your leg as much as possible. Although every patient heals at a different rate, most patients return to work in a few days and resume normal activities.  

Sclerotherapy

Another minimally invasive treatment option for varicose veins is sclerotherapy. Although it’s commonly associated with the treatment of spider veins, sclerotherapy also works well for smaller varicose veins. 

In contrast to ablation treatments, sclerotherapy uses a chemical to close off the vein. Your provider cleans the treatment area and then uses a fine needle to inject the chemical solution or foam into the damaged vein. 

The chemical irritates the lining of the vein, ultimately making it form a scar. The scar tissue seals the vein, and blood reroutes to healthy veins.

This in-office treatment typically takes about 45 minutes. It doesn’t require anesthesia, and you can drive yourself home. Similar to ablation treatments, you need to wear compression stockings for several days afterward. With sclerotherapy, you typically can resume your normal activities more quickly than with ablation treatment.

Protect your circulatory health

If you’re ready to tackle your unsightly varicose veins, relieve your achy legs, and avoid complications of venous disease, make an appointment at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, New Jersey. Click or call today.

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