If you or someone you know is affected by thick, twisted veins on their legs, those are varicose veins, and they can be a nuisance. Most of the time, varicose veins aren’t indicative of health issues, though they might have some uncomfortable symptoms. Whether or not you feel them, your wardrobe might.
Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC is a board-certified doctor who specializes in treating troublesome veins. He works with Nestor Guerrero, ARNP-C, a skilled and experienced nurse practitioner, who understands how varicose veins can affect you. Though varicose veins rarely pose a health risk, treating them can restore your legs and your confidence.
Your veins have the important job of circulating oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart where the blood’s oxygen is refreshed. From there, oxygenated blood pumps through arteries to other blood vessels, feeding your entire body. Nutrients from your diet are absorbed by blood vessels in the intestine, entering the bloodstream and fueling organ function.
To work effectively and efficiently, veins have valves that keep blood going straight up, against gravity and into the heart. These valves are essential to the purpose of the vein, helping your circulatory system function properly.
Due to a number of factors, including age, inactivity, and hormonal issues, the valves in your veins may weaken or stop working entirely. When valves malfunction, deoxygenated blood backs up, pooling in the vein and causing it to bulge, twisting its way up to the surface of the skin.
When this happens, the signature symptom of discolored, lumpy skin of varicose veins becomes evident. As mentioned, varicose veins typically don’t have symptoms, nor are they usually indicative of a greater health concern; however, either is possible. These symptoms can be a potential sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Typically though, varicose veins cause itchiness at the site and heaviness in the legs.
Our providers create treatment plans based on your body’s unique needs. They usually start with conservative treatments such as compression socks, which can be purchased over the counter, and elevating your feet when sitting. However, this may eliminate symptoms of varicose veins instead of the appearance of the vein itself.
Treating your varicose veins used to involve surgical procedures that required general anesthesia, and at least two weeks of recovery. While those procedures may still be performed in some cases where other options aren’t optimal, our providers usually treat varicose vein patients with cutting-edge, outpatient options that provide immediate results.
Microphlebectomies are in-office outpatient procedures that remove the troubled vein through a small incision in the leg. This technique is usually recommended for veins that are too large for other procedures, but don’t require a more invasive surgery. While there is a recovery time for this method, it’s generally considered to be short and relatively easy.
Sclerotherapy is another popular option due in part to its minimally invasive nature and ease of execution. As your provider, we make sure that you’re comfortable on a table while we are able to easily access the problem veins. Using a sterile needle and syringe that contain a gentle chemical, tiny injections are made directly into the vein, dissolving it quickly and painlessly.
Radiofrequency Ablation, or RFA, uses the power of electric radio waves to resolve your varicose veins. Just as with sclerotherapy, this minimally invasive, in-office procedure requires no downtime, and may have immediate results. While you’re sitting comfortably, we insert a tiny catheter that sends radio waves to cauterize and close the vein.
If none of these treatments are best for you, your provider will have other options to treat your varicose veins.
While these remedies are important and helpful developments in treating varicose veins, there are things that you can do in your everyday life to fight varicose veins. Vein care is important for everyone, but it’s particularly important if you’re dealing with a venous issue, like varicose veins.
Eat a balanced diet, and get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day. This can be jogging, cycling, or swimming, depending on what your primary care physician recommends for you. Get in the habit of winding down before bed, and stretching as deeply as is comfortable. Keeping a healthy weight can not only keep varicose veins at bay, but reduce your risk of developing hypertension.
Our practice is led by experienced medical professionals who specialize in leg restoration and protection. If you’re dealing with varicose veins, call our office at 813-302-7620, or use the online appointment system to book your consultation today.