Beyond Cosmetic

Varicose veins are a medical condition, which needs treatment, and not just a cosmetic concern.

Varicose veins are part of the superficial venous system. The main veins that give rise to them are the great saphenous vein which is located in the inner thigh and the small saphenous vein which lies in the back of the calf.

Varicose veins lie under the skin and can become large and bulge- sometimes visible as rope-like protrusions.

With prolonged standing or sitting, there can be back-flow of blood and “pooling” in the lower leg. With time, the result is swelling which progresses to tissue firmness with inflammation which extends to the skin. The skin can become discolored (pink progressing to brown), thickened, dry and itchy. This condition is know as venous insufficiency.

“Venous insufficiency is a progressive medical condition. If not treated, it can result in skin deterioration and ultimately breakdown to ulceration in some people.”

Vein Disease

In Women Up until age 50 to 60, vein disease is more common in women. This is due in large part to pregnancy and estrogen. During pregnancy, fluid in the veins increases by 50% and eventually the gravid uterus presses on the pelvic veins; resisting the outflow of blood from the legs, frequently causing leg swelling.

With the first pregnancy, varicose veins are noted in 30% of women and this increases with subsequent pregnancies. Also, spider veins are frequently seen for the first time.

Estrogen and progesterone also play a part in vein wall weakness and fluid retention.

Even if varicose veins aren’t visible under spider veins, they are present deeper. Spider veins are the tip of the iceberg.

They may be cosmetic but they point to deeper problems.

In addition to pregnancy and hormones, inheritance, obesity and jobs with prolonged standing or sitting adversely affect veins.

“Women are also at increased risk for blood clots in the deep veins during pregnancy- deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A woman is thrombophilic because the body is dealing with high hormone levels, an enlarged uterus, as well as increased blood volume and swelling. The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy continue for months after the birth.”

Vascular Vein Centers offers minimally invasive treatments, including foam sclerotherapy using Varithena® and endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) to stop what could become a progressive problem.

“The treatments eliminate affected veins without taking them out, thus decreasing patient discomfort and allowing a faster return to normal function. The blood is rerouted through the healthy veins,” Dr. Martin explains.” The treated veins are absorbed by the body over time.”

Treatments are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures performed by specialists at Vascular Vein Centers in the comfort of an office setting.

Treatment of varicose veins and venous insufficiency is covered by most major medical insurance, including Medicare and Tricare.

Article courtesy of Vascular Vein Centers. js
Print This Article
    • Vascular Vein Centers

      Vascular Vein Centers puts patient care and well-being first by studying and investing in emerging vein treatments and the latest technology to ensure patients receive fast and effective minimally invasive care. Patients benefit from personal... Read More

    • Samuel P. Martin, MD, FACS

      Samuel P. Martin, MD, FACS, is board-certified in general and vascular surgery. He graduated from Yale University and Duke University. Dr. Martin completed a general surgery residency at New York Hospital, Cornell and a vascular fellowship at O... Read More