Veins are blood vessels that return blood from the tissues to the heart, and in the case of veins in the legs, this return occurs against gravity. Veins have valves that facilitate circulation of blood towards the heart but when these valves become insufficient, they allow blood to pool down and lead lo dilatation of the veins. When veins become dilated and tortuous, they are called varicose veins.
Varicose veins may not produce any symptoms at first, but as the disease progresses they can lead to significant discomfort, pain and heaviness. If left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to irreversible skin discoloration and ulceration.
Evaluation for venous disease and varicose veins is simple and can be completed in the office. We begin with a thorough physical evaluation and discussion of your symptoms and how they affect your health and your lifestyle. You may also benefit from an ultrasound test that will determine if the valves in your veins are insufficient. This ultrasound test is also performed in the comfort of our office by our experienced certified technologists.
There are conservative measures that are helpful in the early stages and may prevent progression to irreversible disease. Measures include:
- Leg elevation
- Use of compression stockings
- Weight loss
- Avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing
Fortunately, should you require treatment for your varicose veins, there are multiple alternatives that are simple and routinely performed in our office. We will have a discussion of all treatment options as well as insurance coverage. All of these procedures are very well tolerated and do not require anesthesia or prolonged recovery. In most cases patients can return to their normal routine following any of these minimally invasive procedures that include:
- Endovenous laser ablation (EVLT)
- Newer non-thermal technologies