Although not dangerous, many would find varicose veins rather unsightly. Standing for too long counts as one of many reasons it develops, but factors such as age, family history, pregnancy, and obesity also put you at risk. Given some of the risk factors, there is no surefire way of preventing varicose veins from forming. While there are ways to prevent them from getting worse, those who already suffer from them can turn to different varicose vein removal methods.
A lot of progress has been made in the realm of treating varicose veins. Treatments in the past were painful procedures, but modern technology has introduced new and painless methods in removing varicose veins.
Instead of listening to blood flow using a Doppler device, duplex ultrasounds – which takes a two-dimensional photo – are now used to examine the leg’s circulatory system. By knowing the exact vein affected helps determine the kind of treatment to use.
Varicose veins are blood vessels, but they are superficial; the real working veins lie deeper. As such, the surface veins can be removed without affecting leg circulation.
In the past, treatment involved inserting a metal rod into the vein through an incision made at the groin. The rod was passed through and capped at the other end. The surface vein was stripped by pulling back the rod through the leg and out through the incision. The low-lying veins then take over once the “gnarly” ones have been taken out.
The stripping method of the past isn’t performed anymore. Today, the affected vein can be heated by radio waves, causing the collagen to collapse. Although the procedure still requires inserting a thin catheter into the vein, it is made painless with the injection of a mixture of anesthesia and fluid. Bruising might occur and it might take eight weeks for the vein to re-absorb.
Another varicose vein removal method is through the use of lasers, which sends concentrated light which collapses the affected vein. The procedure does cause a bit of discomfort when the laser touches the skin, but it is quickly cooled off.
Sclerotherapy is another technique used to treat varicose veins. The method involves using an agent that is agitated with air to form a foam that is injected into the affected vein. The walls of the vein then swells, blocking off the problematic vein and allowing the deep-lying venous system to take over.
Preventing existing varicose veins from getting worse
Some of the risk factors for developing varicose veins are hard to avoid. However, there are ways to prevent existing varicose veins from getting worse. These include:
- Avoiding periods of prolonged sitting and standing. Doing so makes it difficult for blood to travel in leg veins causing pressure in veins to rise. Moving around helps reduce pressure and improve blood circulation.
- Wearing compression hosiery. This keeps vein valves in the right position so they can function properly. Choose a compression level based on how damaged your veins are.
- Living a healthy lifestyle. Your best bet against the varicose veins risk factors you can’t control is to make healthy lifestyle choices. Eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly are powerful allies in preventing more damage to veins.
Varicose veins may not be dangerous, but some may not like the sight of ugly veins on their legs. The good news is that there are different varicose vein removal methods that can be done to remove such an unsightly presence.
We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all vascular health issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.