What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are different from spider veins in that they are larger, swollen, bluish visible veins which most commonly appear on the back of the calves or the inside of the leg. For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern, although varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort.
What causes varicose veins?
The valves in normal veins keep blood moving forward toward the heart. In a varicose vein, the valves don't function properly, which causes blood to pool in the vein causing the swelling. Genetic predisposition plays a large role in varicose vein development and any condition that puts pressure on the valves or that stresses the circulatory system can also lead to varicose veins such as:
- Standing for long periods of time
How do we effectively treat varicose veins?
There is no cure for varicose veins; we can only remove existing varicose veins; new ones may develop at any time. Available treatments include:
Sclerotherapy: An injection treatment with a specially developed dissolving (sclerosing) solution that causes veins to dissolve and disappear over time.
CoolGlide® laser: This laser treatment delivers a specific pulse of light energy which causes the blood within the vein to coagulate, eventually destroying the vessel. The pooled blood and destroyed vessel are reabsorbed by your body eliminating the pain and the visible vessel over time.
What can I expect?
Prior to any varicose vein treatment, we perform a test site to test the efficacy of the procedure for you. The results of the test can be evaluated in one month, and if successful, treatment can begin at that time.
Varicose veins worsen with time and age so extremely swollen, hardened, painful veins should be treated, although new visible veins will likely form. In addition we will advise you to make certain lifestyle adjustments to ease varicose vein formation and pain including:
- Avoid standing for long periods of time in one position. Walk around as often as possible.
- Raise legs when seated or sleeping, or as often as possible
- Wear prescription support hose
Have a question about your treatment?
We have a dedicated triage nurse (RN) who answers patient questions during office hours. If you have a problem or question about a procedure or a prescribed medication, please call our office and ask to speak to our nurse. If she is unable to answer your question, she will consult with your practitioner and return your call.