Varicose Veins and Modern Treatments
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
First, you need to ask yourself: Do I have Spider Veins or Varicose Veins?
- Spider Veins are smaller and usually do not bulge and knot at the skin. They can be bluish or reddish in color, look as though they spider the skin, and are the predecessor to varicose veins.
- Varicose Veins bulge and can be painful. The cause of the pain is the damage within the larger vein that supplies the smaller veins. As the blood pulsates through to the smaller veins, the damage makes the veins swell and hurt.
What causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are quite simply caused by a damage to the veins themselves. They usually occur in the legs or lower extremities because it takes power for the blood to pulsate upward and back to the heart. Changes in the body cause changes in the veins themselves. Age, hormone changes, pregnancy, or obesity can change the way the body pushes blood back up to the heart and has a great impact on varicose veins.
Do I need to worry about my Spider Veins or Varicose Veins?
Dr. Lonnie L Whiddon, of Dallas Vein Specialists, says that people are not concerned enough about their spider and varicose veins. “Doctors often tell their pregnant patients not to worry about their varicose veins,” he says, “Instead, realize that varicose veins are a result of damage in the supply vein in the leg. Disregarding this and letting the vein continue to pulse into the smaller veins only creates more of a problem.” For this reason, Dr. Whiddon and others like him prefer early intervention.
Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
They can be. With a higher risk of varicose veins comes a higher risk of leg blood clots, as the blood has a hard time circumventing the blood flow area. Leg blood clots can cause heart attacks or strokes.
If I want Varicose Vein treatments, what are my options?
Dr. Whiddon and many others now are using CoolTouch Laser Systems to target the supply vein that causes varicose veins. Using ultrasound, they can find the source of the problem, and then inject the source of the problem vessel. By attacking the problem rather than the subsequent vessels, return of problems are less likely. Doctors and patients using the CoolTouch System say that the treatment is not as painful as a typical varicose vein treatment and causes little to no down time with the patient. The ultrasound is used to find the source of the problem, and a simple injection of the supply vein quickly shuts down the problem. The body then can absorb the smaller, damaged veins.
Many clinics offer various laser treatments, and many offer vein stripping. With new procedures available, vein stripping, a very painful procedure, can usually be avoided.
Sclerotherapy is a common treatment, where the blood vessel is injected with a substance that stops blood flow through it. The result is a block of that vessel. The body creates a flow through a different vessel and does not damage the limb by going around the original vessel. The body eventually consumes and discards the unused vessel.
In general, taking care of a varicose vein problem is advised, where waiting for the problem to worsen will only delay pain and possibly cause health problems.