Varicose Vein Treatments New Orleans
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that appear on the surface of the skin. When veins become abnormally thick, full of twists and turns, or enlarged, they are called a varicose vein. This happens most commonly in the veins in the legs and thighs. They may be dark purple or blue and might bulge outwards from the skin. A vein can become varicose at any time so check your body regularly, especially your thighs and lower legs. Varicose veins appear in one out of every two adults over the age of 50 and are even more common in women than men.
The thickened, twisting or dilated parts of the vein are called varicosities.
Varicose veins might form anywhere in the body, but they are usually located in the legs.
Varicose veins tend to be inherited, and become more noticeable as we get older.
Causes of Varicose Veins
There are many reasons why varicose veins might occur, including:
Age – Veins lose elasticity as we get older and become more prone to stretching. When that happens, blood gathers within the veins, enlarging them so they become varicose.
Pregnancy – The circulatory system changes significantly during pregnancy, allowing blood to flow more freely in the body, but decreasing flow from the legs to the pelvis. These changes often result in enlarged veins in the legs.
Heredity – Abnormalities in the walls of the vein that contribute to varicose veins are often inherited.
Excess Weight – Being overweight means there is additional pressure on the lower body, which is a perfect environment for the formation of varicose veins.
Prolonged Standing or Sitting – When you sit or stand too long, blood pools and varicose veins can form as a result.
The result is that when a person with poorly functioning valves stands up, the blood flow actually reverses and flows down the superficial veins, when it should be flowing up, toward the heart.
When the muscles surrounding the deep veins contract, emptying the deeper veins, a build-up of pressure occurs.
This causes even more blood to flow the wrong way from the deep to the superficial veins through faulty valves in the perforator veins.
This increases pressure in the superficial veins and causes varicosities.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Many varicose veins are only cosmetically unappealing, while others might produce serious symptoms:
- A feeling of heaviness or even pain in the legs
- Itching or burning on the skin surrounding the varicose vein
- Cramping or swelling in the ankles and lower legs
- A feeling of restless legs, particularly during periods of inactivity
- Open sores known as venous ulcers
When symptoms appear, it is time to talk to a doctor about treatment for your varicose veins. Fortunately there are many treatment options available today, allowing your doctor to customize treatment to your specific needs. Most patients experience near instant relief from their painful or unsightly symptoms after varicose vein treatment with the proper care and treatment.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR VARICOSE VEINS
Sclerotherapy. This procedure, which has been available since the 1930s, is another treatment option. This procedure uses a highly concentrated saline (salt) solution or a specially made detergent that is injected directly into the vein, causing the vein to disappear gradually over three to six weeks. The procedure is simple, relatively inexpensive, and can be performed in an outpatient setting.
Endovenous laser treatment is a procedure in which a small laser fiber is inserted into the vein. Pulses of laser light are delivered inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse. The procedure is done as an outpatient under local anesthesia.
Radiofrequency Ablation. A small catheter is inserted into the vein. The catheter delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse, and seal shut. The procedure is generally done in an outpatient or office setting, sometimes under local anesthesia.
Surgery. Surgical techniques to treat varicose veins include ligation (tying off of a vein) and stripping (removal of a long segment of vein). Another procedure, ambulatory phlebectomy, allows for the removal of large surface veins through very small incisions that do not need stitches. Surgery may be performed using local, spinal, or general anesthesia. Most patients return home the same day as the procedure. Surgery is generally used to treat large varicose veins.
Lasers and intense pulsed light. Surface laser or intense pulsed light treatments, such as Vasculight and PhotoDerm, are other options. These devices use heat energy to selectively damage or destroy abnormal veins. An advantage of these treatments is that no needles or sclerosing solutions are required; however, there may be some minor discomfort. Side effects do occur, including discoloration or staining and blister formation. The results are often disappointing.