More than half of us are or will be bothered by the discomfort of varicose veins at some point. Whether you feel physical discomfort or are merely self-conscious of their appearance, there are treatments that can remove these unsightly and often painful veins. Call the experts at Venus Vein Clinic in Omaha, NE to ask if vein ablation is right for you.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are the bulging, snake-like and discolored veins people develop, mostly in their legs. These can vary in size, protrusion, color and severity. They often appear swollen and twisted, visible just below the surface of the skin with a dark blue or purplish color. While these veins are unsightly, they can also cause physical symptoms. Common symptoms are:
- Heavy feeling
- Muscle cramping
- Worsening pain after sitting or standing for long periods
Often patients may complain of one or more symptoms stemming from these bulging veins. Most issues aren’t serious, but if left untreated, they can lead to rare but severe complications. People who experience any of the following issues should see their doctor immediately:
- Ulcers difficult to treat and slow to heal
- Blood clots in veins deep within the legs
- Bleeding from a burst vein near the surface of the skin
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Veins play an essential role in the distribution of blood throughout our bodies. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry it back. Each vein has a valve that keeps blood flowing one way. Sometimes, these valves stop working properly, not getting all the blood back to the heart.
This blood will pool in the vein, stretching the walls of the vein and causing them to twist and bulge. Because the veins in your legs also have to work against gravity, they are the most likely to fail.
There is no test to determine who will develop these veins and who won’t, but there are factors that make their appearance more likely.
The older we get, the more likely the valves in our veins will malfunction, leading to these bulging veins. We consider this the normal wear and tear of getting older, although not everyone will develop varicose veins, regardless of their age.
Women are far more likely to develop this condition. We attribute this to hormonal changes during pre-menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause because female hormones can relax vein walls, weakening them. Hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills may increase this likelihood.
When a woman is pregnant, the volume of her blood increases, which is necessary to accommodate the growing fetus. It also leaves her with enlarged veins in her legs because some of her veins’ valves couldn’t handle the extra stress.
This is thought to be the biggest risk factor of them all. If you come from a family where varicose veins are the norm, there’s a better-than-average chance you will develop them too.
There are a few more factors that correlate with the development of varicose veins:
- Extended periods of standing or sitting
- Being very tall
Luckily, you don’t have to live with the discomfort or embarrassment of varicose veins. There are innovative treatments, like vein ablation, available to remove these veins, revealing a smoother skin surface. Fortunately, these treatments are minimally invasive and don’t require a hospital stay or much, if any, downtime.
This type of vein ablation uses radiofrequency to correct the cause of varicose veins and not just relieve their symptoms. During this treatment, a small catheter is inserted into the affected vein through a tiny incision. Once inside, heat is delivered to contract the walls of the vein.
This contraction causes them to break down and close themselves off. Once the vein is sealed, blood from that vein is naturally rerouted to healthier, nearby veins. The collapsed vein is eventually absorbed naturally by the body.
What to Expect
A local anesthetic will be applied to the incision area so your session will be comfortable. Depending on the area to be treated, your appointment may last up to an hour.
The only real aftercare is the need to wear compression stockings on the treated leg for about a week, promoting proper blood flow. You’ll see gradual results as the treated veins eventually disappear from sight.
Venaseal is an innovative technology that uses a medical adhesive to close off the varicose vein. A thin catheter is carefully guided through the length of the vein via a small incision. As the catheter is retracted, the adhesive is distributed, and the vein is sealed shut. Blood flow is naturally redirected and the diseased vein absorbed by nearby tissue.
What to Expect
Unlike other vein ablation techniques, patients are not required to wear compression stockings after this very comfortable treatment. Over time, the lesioned veins will disappear leaving you with a smoother and clearer complexion.
Is This Right for Me?
If you’re concerned about the discomfort and appearance of varicose veins, talk to a specialist about vein ablation. Most people experiencing varicose veins are a good candidate for ablative treatment, but only your doctor can ultimately recommend the right course of action.
To make an informed decision, you want to have the very best experts on your side. Call the office of Venus Vein Clinic in Omaha, NE to schedule a consultation. We are passionate about delivering an exceptional health care experience and one that will significantly improve your quality of life.