While there’s no surefire way to prevent varicose veins, you can do something about it when these unsightly, twisted, bulging, discolored veins appear. If you have varicose veins, you’re not alone — over 40 million people in the United States are living with these rope-like veins, most often appearing on their legs.
At CA Heart and Vein Specialists, we specialize in the latest and most effective treatments for varicose veins. Learn what you can do about your varicose veins to reduce the risk of complications while improving their cosmetic appearance.
What are varicose veins?
You should know that varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue. When these veins appear, they’re a sign of venous disease. They occur when some of the valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction have become weak or damaged, allowing blood to pool.
The pressure from the pooling blood causes the veins to swell and become twisted and bulging. Treating varicose veins can boost more than your self-esteem; it can improve your circulation and reduce the chances that you’ll experience complications.
Varicose vein complications
Untreated varicose veins can cause painful sores over time that are slow to heal. These ulcers can become infected and cause even more problems. You’re also at risk for blood clots that develop beneath the surface of your skin. While these clots near the skin’s surface don’t carry the same risks as clots that develop deep within the body, they can cause pain, swelling, cramping, and itching.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Most people experience varicose veins in their legs, and common symptoms are:
Leg cramps at night
If you have varicose veins, you likely notice that your legs feel heavy and begin to cramp after a long day, especially at night. This happens due to waste products that accumulate in your legs because blood flow is restricted. Cramps sometime occurs in the middle of the night and interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
If you look down and notice that your legs appear swollen, you’re not imagining things. Leg swelling is a common symptom of venous insufficiency. Valve dysfunction causes legs to swell and feel tight and heavy.
Pain upon standing
Pain, particularly when you stand up, is a telltale sign of venous disease. Gravity influences circulation and can put a strain on poorly functioning valves, causing your legs to hurt and cramp when you change from a sitting or lying position to standing.
Treatments for varicose veins
Cardiovascular physician Dr. Majed Chane and his team offer several treatment options to address varicose veins. We can discuss the different procedures with you and help you determine what can give you the best results.
Radiofrequency ablation involves using radiofrequency energy to deliver controlled heat to your veins, causing them to close. Your body then reroutes blood flow to healthy veins. This minimally invasive procedure stops the pain and bulging beneath the skin and promotes healing and improved blood flow.
Radiofrequency ablation isn’t feasible in every situation, and Dr. Chane may recommend mechano-chemical ablation (MOCA). This procedure is similar to radiofrequency ablation, except instead of heat, he uses a sclerosant — an irritating solution — that prompts the veins to close.
Microphlebectomy is another treatment option for varicose veins. It involves making tiny incisions and removing the varicose veins in small segments. Dr. Chane may use microphlebectomy along with radiofrequency ablation to remove very large varicose veins. The procedure is highly effective and has a success rate of over 90%.
VenaSeal is a non-thermal, non-sclerosant procedure that uses a medical adhesive injected directly into your varicose vein through a small catheter. VenaSeal safely and effectively closes your veins, quickly improving your symptoms.
To find out what you can do about your varicose veins, contact CA Heart and Vein Specialists at our Huntington Beach, California, office to schedule an appointment. Call or use our convenient online booking form to request a consultation today.