There are plenty of fun things about getting older: many people look forward to retirement for travel, and more time spent with loved ones, and to finding new hobbies and meeting new people. With aging, though, can come some things for which we’re not prepared, including some changes in our bodies.
Some of your bodily changes can look unappealing, or cause other problems. The Society for Vascular Surgery estimates that around 35% of people deal with varicose veins at some point in their lives, with women, particularly women with multiple children, and obese people carrying the highest risk of developing them.
Our staff of compassionate professionals at Premier Vein & Vascular is led by Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC, a board-certified interventional cardiologist. Dr. Saiyad understands how varicose veins can affect you - both the appearance of your legs and potential complications that can result from a lack of proper treatment. Cosmetic problems won’t relieve varicose veins, but we can help.
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are raised above the skin. They’re very common and can be brought on by a sedentary lifestyle, as well as a family history. Varicose veins might show as an outline with a blue or purple border in some, or twisted, dark blue or purple in others.
While most cases are varicose veins are relatively benign, varicose veins can carry a number of problems, including:
Varicose veins are a symptom of poorly functioning blood valves in your veins. These valves keep blood pumping against gravity to force blood up through your leg to your heart. When they don’t work properly, blood pools in veins, forcing them up to the surface of your skin.
While not everyone will experience serious symptoms, a number of people will. Varicose veins can burst and bleed. They can also clot, causing pain and discomfort. Some people will form painful ulcers from varicose veins, and treating them must be done as quickly as possible. Understand that treating your varicose veins is an investment in your overall health.
Dr. Saiyad has several minimally invasive options to treat your varicose veins for those who are good candidates:
Also called endovenous thermal ablation, a laser is used to cauterize the vein, relieving associated discomfort for you. Dr. Saiyad uses a device to cauterize your problem vein, closing it off. The vein reduces and vanishes as you heal. This technique is an outpatient procedure that generally lasts up to three hours, and does not always require anesthesia.
Sclerotherapy involves mixing water and air together to break down the problem vein. Sometimes, varicose veins are located far below the surface of the skin, and doctors need a way to make sure that they treat all of your varicose veins. The same type of ultrasound technology that reflects fetuses can be used to find and treat varicose veins.
A minimally invasive surgery, a microphlebectomy is the gentler option to vein stripping of the past. Through a tiny incision in the leg, Dr. Saiyad removes your problem veins. Patients who are not candidates for sclerotherapy or venous ablation might be candidates for a microphlebectomy, but Dr. Saiyad will determine the safest course of treatment for you.
Besides having procedures to address your varicose veins, taking better care of yourself will help you heal. Use compression socks, and elevate your feet. Choose a low-sodium, high-fiber diet, and get plenty of exercise. You should also avoid standing for long periods of time.
If you’re tired or hurting from your varicose veins, you don’t have to live with them forever. Call us at 813-302-7620, or use our online appointment system to book your consultation with Dr. Saiyad today.