If you suffer from varicose veins, you are not alone. Around three out of ten people struggle with this condition, and in some cases, it can cause significant pain. Fortunately, there is a range of treatments available that can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of your varicosities. Here at North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX, we offer varicose vein treatment suitable for many different concerns related to this issue, whether aesthetic or medical.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicosities are large, swollen veins that usually occur in your legs and feet, but can also affect your pelvis, vagina, esophagus, or rectum. You can identify them because they look blue or dark purple and often appear lumpy, bulging, and twisted. In many cases, they are merely a cosmetic concern, but they can also be painful and even cause further complications.
In fact, many people experience aches and discomfort in the local area, along with swelling, burning, throbbing, and muscle cramps. Your skin in the affected area may also dry out and become itchy. In severe cases, varicosities in your superficial tissue can cause blood clots, which become inflamed or even cause a serious medical condition called deep vein thrombosis. If your varicose veins are painful or very large, you should look into getting treatment.
Why You May Be Suffering
Healthy veins have little valves built into them, which stop the blood from flowing back to the heart. In varicose veins, these valves are weakened or damaged, so the blood starts to pool and the vein eventually becomes enlarged. While this condition can affect anyone, there are certain factors that make it more likely. In particular, women are more affected than men because they have more of the hormone progesterone.
There are also certain genetic factors involved, so if there are other people in your family with varicose veins, you are at a greater risk of getting them, too. They become more likely as we age and are more common in people who are overweight or who have a job that requires a lot of standing. Women might also experience varicosities during or after pregnancy.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Varicose Vein Treatment?
As mentioned, many cases of varicose veins are not very severe and may not require significant treatment. Sometimes, simple lifestyle factors can eliminate the symptoms and allow the patient to avoid a more complex solution. However, it’s worth exploring your treatment options if you experience discomfort on a regular basis, are at risk of complications, or have cosmetic concerns related to this condition.
Aside from the traditional method of using compression stockings, there are now a number of innovative and minimally invasive treatments available for anyone suffering from varicosities. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to contact us, no matter how long you’ve been struggling with the issue and how severe your symptoms are.
You Experience Discomfort
The main reason for people to seek out treatment is if they are experiencing discomfort as a result of the condition. In most cases, this will be in the form of either a dull ache, a throbbing, or a burning sensation. If this is persistent and detracting from your quality of life, it’s important that you get the issue resolved. In around 98% of situations, your insurance plan will cover this kind of issue because it is a genuine medical concern.
You might also be suffering from cramps, particularly during the night, and swollen legs or ankles. This can make your limbs feel heavy and you may no longer be able to move around as you once were. Such a symptom is particularly concerning in older patients because it can be the start of general loss of mobility. By getting treatment, we can prevent this early on and make sure the patient is mobile for as long as possible.
You Are at Risk of Complications
Another major concern is that severe varicose veins can cause complications, and it’s essential that you get them treated if they are serious enough to potentially cause a blood clot. If your skin’s color has changed, this may indicate that you have a problem with blood flow and could lead to a more serious issue down the line. This is also the case if the veins feel hard to the touch.
Some people with varicosities experience an ulcer, which is a break in the skin that doesn’t heal within two weeks. To confirm that varicosities are causing such issues, your vascular specialist will do a duplex Doppler ultrasound exam. This is not invasive and simply involves sound waves, but it can be very helpful in finding out what exactly the issue is and how we can best help you.
You Have Aesthetic Concerns
Although medical complications related to varicosities are fairly common, many people would like treatment for cosmetic reasons, especially if the varicosities are causing skin discoloration or swelling. We can help you with this as well, for example by performing laser ablation. With such a treatment, the veins will close up and be broken down by the body. Over time, your legs will return to their former smooth shape and texture.
When it comes to cosmetic treatments, laser ablation is one of the most sought-after because of its incredibly high success rate. In more than 95% of cases, the varicosities are removed, so you will almost certainly see a great improvement in your condition over time.
Your General Health
There is a varicose vein treatment for everyone, but before making a decision about which method is appropriate for you, we will need to see your medical records and know about any medication you are currently taking. Even though endovenous therapy and phlebectomy are minimally invasive and don’t require general anesthesia, there may be certain conditions that make the treatment riskier, and we can suggest alternatives in such cases.
At your initial consultation, we will also examine your varicosities to determine how severe they are and what kind of intervention is most appropriate. In some cases, we may be able to give you some advice about what you can do to reduce the symptoms naturally, or we may sell you compression stockings as a noninvasive alternative to treatment. The best way to find out how you can get rid of your varicose veins is to speak to Dr. Handley.
Because our patient base is so diverse, we have a variety of options available. In case your varicosities aren’t very severe, we may attempt some noninvasive treatments and lifestyle changes first. However, if you have a more serious medical or cosmetic concern, there is a range of treatments that can help. Usually, these won’t require an overnight stay or general anesthesia, so you can return home and resume your normal activities the same day.
When you first visit us, we will ask you about your history with varicose veins, how the issue started, and how long you have been suffering from the condition. In case you are overweight, this could be the root cause, so we might advise you to work towards a healthy weight before attempting treatment. Our experts can offer you guidance on how to use diet and exercise to achieve this.
In addition, we will speak to you about your daily routine and whether it includes long periods of standing or sitting. No matter if you are having treatment or not, going for regular short walks and elevating your legs frequently can help keep the blood moving and prevent future complications. In many cases, compression stockings can also help because they increase circulation by squeezing your legs.
Endovenous laser treatment, or EVLT, is an innovative technique that involves a laser being inserted into the affected vein. The highly concentrated light energy will burn your vein and induce it to close, so that blood can no longer pass through it. As a result, your body re-routes the blood and eventually breaks down the diseased, dead vein.
This varicose vein treatment will be performed under local anesthesia, which means that you won’t lose consciousness and can return home on the same day. It usually takes around 45-60 minutes, and you can leave our clinic shortly after your treatment is complete. One of the main advantages of EVLT is that there is minimal downtime and you can return to most of your regular activities within 24 hours.
If you have larger or bulging varicose veins, we may advise ambulatory phlebectomy, which involves making several small incisions to remove these veins from your body. Similar to EVLT, the treatment will take around one hour and can be conducted under local anesthesia right here at our clinic. You can also expect a short recovery time and minimal scarring, but you will need to wear compression stockings for a week or until your follow-up appointment.
Patients who have undergone ambulatory phlebectomy are generally pleased with the results, especially because the veins are removed and cannot come back. However, new spider or varicose veins may form in the area, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the treatment is over in order to make sure the results are long-lasting.
No matter what kind of solution you opt for, you will have to support it by following all of our pre- and post-treatment guidelines to ensure optimal results. For example, we may tell you to stop taking certain types of medications, especially blood thinners, and if you book a more invasive method, we will recommend that you stop smoking. This is because nicotine can slow down the healing process.
Once your treatment is complete and you have recovered enough to resume all of your activities, you should maintain a diet that allows your blood pressure to stay within a healthy range. In particular, avoiding too much fat and salt can keep your cardiovascular system healthy and your blood flowing smoothly. This should be complemented with daily gentle exercise like walking and regularly changing your body position so you prevent the blood from pooling.
Find Relief from your Varicose Veins Today
A large percentage of the population suffers from stubborn varicose veins, and anyone who has cosmetic or medical concerns related to the condition could be a good candidate for varicose vein treatment. You should seek out help if the issue affects your daily life or if you notice significant changes to how your legs and feet look.
To book your initial consultation, contact North Texas Vein and Vascular in Flower Mound, TX. We can provide a more accurate diagnosis and speak to you about which varicose vein treatment could work well for you.