Andrew Chow, M.D.
Radiology and Imaging, Vascular Medicine
Spring is just around the corner, and with the warmer weather comes the desire to wear shorts and show off your legs. Every year at this time, we see an increase in visits for people who are finally fed up with their painful and unsightly varicose veins.
MORE THAN A COSMETIC PROBLEM
Varicose veins are common and affect up to 50 percent of adults. When present, this condition affects more than just the appearance of the leg. These tortuous, abnormal veins often lead to painfully swollen, aching and tired legs that get worse with even a minimal amount of exercise or standing. At worst, they can be indicative of a progressive disease process called chronic venous insufficiency, which causes poor wound healing, ulcers and, in severe cases, can lead to amputation.
SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins form when internal valves break down and allow blood to flow in the wrong direction down the leg and pool within the veins. This causes the vein to stretch and dilate, leading to swelling, aching and pain.
To make matters worse, veins often can bulge more and more to hold the increasing amount of blood, which results in even more persisting discomfort. Compression stockings may offer temporary relief by holding the veins in place. However, they’re not a permanent solution to fix the veins or stop the disease from progressing. Spider veins, a mild form of varicose veins, occur within the skin layer instead of under it as with varicose veins. Spider veins usually are harmless, though they sometimes can cause aching, burning or pain, especially when you've been standing for long periods.
Fortunately, modern medicine has been active in the diagnosis and treatment of this common disorder. With a simple office visit and painless ultrasound, we’re able to diagnose your condition and offer multiple treatment options. With the latest minimally invasive techniques, we can treat the disease by closing the broken veins in place and literally turn off the faucet causing the abnormal filling.
TREATMENT FOR VARICOSE VEINS
Most treatments for varicose veins are conducted with local numbing medicine and one or two tiny needle pokes. Treatment options include closing the broken veins to halt abnormal blood flow, removal of bulging, painful veins through tiny punctures or pin-point injections to close the smallest veins in place. There is no cutting, sutures or long recovery. In many cases, a patient can drive themselves to and from the treatment, returning to work the next day.
Ultimately, the initial step is to decide that you want to end this problem once and for all. If you’re suffering from bulging, unsightly veins, and have issues with leg pain, swelling, redness, restlessness, ulcers or wounds, make an appointment to see your health care provider today. Relief from your varicose veins is just a few easy steps away.