By Dr. Dvora Nelson
Many people notice the appearance of their veins but they may not appreciate the symptoms that come along with having varicose veins. Swelling, itching, aching and cramps in your leg can all be from varicose veins. Sometimes the pain can be worse at night with restless legs and itching when you have varicose veins.
Stop suffering. There are new procedures that offer relief without causing pain. You can have “surgery” in the office with your family member watching! The old ways of managing varicose veins are over and there is no longer any need to wait.
Varicose veins come from backward blood flow. Normally venous blood flows up the leg, working against gravity toward the heart. Blood is stopped from going backward by tiny, one-way valves in the veins. When the valves are bad, the blood flows toward the floor and not to the heart. This causes big bulging veins, leg swelling, heaviness, browning of the skin, and eventually leg ulcers.
Varicose veins can range from smaller bluish-green veins to large earthworm sized veins that seem to snake down the leg. Though larger veins tend to suggest advanced disease, oftentimes the smaller veins can be the “tip of the iceberg” of a deeper problem.
Today there are many options for treatment of varicose veins. The most important treatment at first is wearing the compression stockings because most insurance companies make you wear the stockings for several months before they decide to pay for any surgery.
Vein procedures are all designed to help remove the bad veins from the body’s circulation. Stripping the vein actually pulls the vein from the leg and it is done in the operating room. Vein stripping can be painful with a long recovery.
Now, there are new procedures where the vein can be taken out of circulation without taking the vein out of the leg. These procedures are done in the office, they are almost pain-free, and there is hardly any recovery time. People can return to work the next day!
Endovenous ablation is the new procedure. The inner part of the vein is destroyed and the body thinks that the vein is dead and turns it into a scar. The blood takes a detour away from the bad veins and goes into the good veins without having to pull the bad veins out of the leg.
There is no significant “downtime” after endovenous ablation. Patients wear compression stockings after the procedure and they must walk. The long term success rates are as high as 97% success after two years.
Once the pain is gone, the veins are made to disappear with tiny incisions and chemical injections. By the end of treatment, the legs look and feel better.
Most insurance companies think varicose veins are a chronic medical problem and they will cover the cost of the procedures. Patients will need to check with their insurance company to see if they qualify for coverage.
The key to deciding whether or not you should see a doctor for your veins is whether you are having any symptoms. Pain, aching, darkening, dryness, redness, flakiness, and bleeding can all be signs of a bad vein problem. If you are having symptoms, you need to see a vein specialist.
Now is the time to start loving the way your legs look and feel!
For more information about varicose veins, contact Dr. Dvora Nelson at (440) 329-7800 or visit www.ohiovein.com to review photographs of what we can do for you..