VARICOSE VEINS Q & A
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins refer to the enlarged, swollen, bulging, and distorted veins that develop in the superficial compartment of the leg. They most commonly appear blue, red, or skin-colored. Varicose veins occur in women more often than men. Risk increases with age, but pregnant women may develop them as well.
Varicose veins can cause a variety of troublesome physical symptoms and may indicate venous reflux disease. They may also be unsightly and affect a patient’s self-confidence.
Varicose veins usually appear in the following areas:
- Back of calves
- Inner legs
- Vaginal area
- Pelvic area (mostly in pregnancy)
Frequently Asked Questions
Varicose Veins Patient Education
What Are Varicose Vein Symptoms?
In addition to affecting the legs’ appearance, varicose veins can cause a range of physical symptoms including:
- Restless legs
For patients with pelvic congestion syndrome, a condition related to varicose veins around the ovaries, women can experience serious pelvic pain that may grow worse over time and inhibit quality of life.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Normally, valves in the veins open and close with muscle movement, pushing blood back to the heart. However, when valves grow weak or become damaged, they malfunction and blood moves backwards through the unclosed valve, collecting in the vein. This medical condition is called venous reflux or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The pooling of the blood causes the vein to bulge, stretch and enlarge. Although sometimes considered cosmetic, varicose veins should addressed and treated along with CVI.
What Are Risk Factors for Varicose Veins?
Risk factors for developing varicose veins include age, obesity, and family history. Hormone changes and pregnancy increase the risk of varicose veins in women. Additionally, people with jobs that require standing or sitting for long periods of time are at a higher risk for varicose veins.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
At first, physicians may recommend lifestyle changes, such as wearing compression garments, elevating the legs, losing weight, and increasing exercise. Although these conservative treatments may help improve circulation, they do not address existing damage within a patient’s veins or prevent further damage. Therefore, physicians often recommend advanced, minimally invasive treatment. This may include:
- Endovenous ablation
Specialized Patient Care
If you have varicose veins or other vein symptoms, Dr. Jilbert Eradat can help. With expertise in diagnosing and treating varicose veins, Dr. Eradat gives each patient individualized attention. Major insurance plans and Medicare accepted..