In the medical community, it is a well-known fact that upwards of 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men suffer from some type of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency directly refers to the function of veins–in this case, the insufficient function of veins concerning blood flow. There are many signs that veins are not functioning properly and could pose a potential medical issue–varicose veins are one of them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are often dilated, bulging, and ropey looking veins on the surface of the skin. These veins can become painful over time and can create issues with mobility. Varicose veins are often a sign that a more serious medical issue is occurring somewhere deep in the legs; this isn’t true for every patient, and we make sure to conduct a full diagnostic ultrasound test before confirming any other issues and recommending treatment.
Typical symptoms of varicose veins include:
Itching, and cramping
Spontaneous bleeding or ulcerations
Tingling in the legs
Restlessness in the legs
Mild to moderate pain in the legs
How do veins work?
To understand what we mean by insufficient vein function, we should explain how the circulatory system works and what role the veins play. The heart works by pumping blood out to the entire body via our arteries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all the tissues and organs like the brain and lungs. On the other hand, veins return blood from the body, back up to the heart.
Because the heart is located in the upper portion of the body, blood coming from below must work against gravity to return to the heart. Luckily our veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from rushing backwards after the muscles in the leg push the blood up to the heart.
When Vein Valves are Damaged
Problems typically arise when the one-way valves in the veins malfunction. When this valve malfunction occurs, blood that is supposed to be making its way up to the heart leaks back down into the vein. Over time, the blood pools in these lower extremities and the congestion leads to dilation (stretching) of the vein walls, resulting in varicose veins.
Though many theories exist as to why valves malfunction, doctors tend to agree that age, genetics, obesity, pregnancy, lack of movement, and sun exposure, are some of the leading causes of varicose and spider veins.
Treatment options for varicose veins include compression stockings for the first step in prevention and support care. The next steps for treatment are one of the following minimally invasive options to remove or lessen the appearance of varicose veins:
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA):
This treatment involves radiofrequency heat energy to treat the walls of diseased veins causing them to scar and close off the vein from any future blood flow.
Laser ablation treatment:
This minimally invasive treatment requires the insertion of a laser-tipped catheter within the vein. Laser energy is then applied to heat the walls of the vein, causing the vein walls to close around the catheter as it is removed. This treatment closes off the vein completely.
This minimally invasive treatment is revolutionary because it requires no heat or radiofrequency energy. VenaSeal is a treatment that targets the greater saphenous vein within the leg to block off the vein from blood flow. The vein is not damaged or removed, but rather blocked with a super glue adhesive, keeping the vein intact.
is a minimally invasive treatment that requires the insertion of a 360-degree rotating wire to administer a specific solution that will work to damage the inner lining of the affected vein. ClariVein closes off the vein permanently. No heat is required.
is a non-invasive treatment option that requires injection of either a salt solution or sclerosing solution, causing the lining of the vein to become sticky and seal itself. Sclerotherapy applies to medium and smaller sized varicose and spider veins.
this minimally invasive procedure extracts the vein from the body by two small incisions and the insertion of a small hooked tool. This treatment is an alternative to laser therapy and invasive ligation or painful vein stripping.
Windward Vein treats many different types of varicose vein patients. Depending on the size and frequency of your varicose veins, we will recommend one specific treatment or a combination of treatments to help remove varicose veins.
Call Windward Vein today to schedule your complimentary consultation, and trade in your painful varicose veins for beautiful, healthy legs.