If you have varicose veins, you know that one of the worst complications is the appearance of bluish-red twisted, dark, or lumpy veins sprawling across your legs. It can be easy to overlook the fact that this medical condition can have serious health consequences when you’re so focused on their appearance. Varicose veins are caused by many factors like genetics, pregnancy and hormonal changes. It’s important to know that treatment for varicose veins offers more than just cosmetic gains and can benefit your health in many ways.
Relieving Daily Limitations
Varicose veins often result in a number of unwanted side effects aside from their distinctive appearance. Victims may experience feelings of throbbing, tingling, burning, restlessness or heaviness in the leg. Aches and cramp-like feelings may also occur. These symptoms can be distracting and tiresome. They also may make it difficult for victims to perform work that involves sitting or standing for prolonged periods, since discomfort often follows these activities. Varicose vein treatment can help relieve most or all of these daily symptoms.
Mitigating Potential Health Risks
People with varicose veins are at risk for various serious health complications, especially if they fail to seek treatment. These complications include:
- Edema: Edema is tissue swelling that occurs as a result of a fluid, such as blood, pooling in the tissue. Edema may cause pain and difficulty walking. It also introduces a risk of infections, skin ulcers, lost vein elasticity and tissue scarring. Edema can occur when blood pools instead of circulating properly. It also may develop in association with blood clots.
- Blood clots and Deep Vein Thrombosis: Deep Vein Thrombosis refers to a clot that develops in a deep vein. The poor circulation associated with varicose veins may allow blood clots to develop. In addition to local pain, a blood clot can cause serious complications if it breaks free, circulates through the body and starts impeding blood flow to vital organs, such as the heart or brain.
- Thrombophlebitis: This condition occurs when a blood clot causes vein inflammation. People who develop thrombophlebitis may experience the complications associated with any blood clot, and they may later suffer from post-thrombotic syndrome, which can develop long after the clot formed. Post-thrombotic syndrome may cause inflammation, sensations of heaviness and debilitating pain.
- Lymphedema. Similar to edema, lymphedema is tissue swelling that results from the pooling of lymph fluids, which can occur when venous insufficiency prevents the lymph system from functioning properly. Lymphedema can raise the risk of infection as well as a rare soft tissue cancer associated with advanced, untreated cases of lymphedema.
Along with the possibility of developing these specific conditions, people with varicose veins also have a greater likelihood of bleeding excessively after a mild local injury or developing open sores near the affected area. Together, these serious health threats show that varicose vein treatment is a medically beneficial and necessary procedure, rather than a simple cosmetic treatment.
- Venefit Procedure – The Venefit procedure uses ultrasound for your physician to position a tiny catheter directly into the vein through a small opening in the skin. This catheter disperses radiofrequency (RF) energy into the wall of the diseased vein. Once the RF energy is received and the catheter is removed, the vein wall is heated. This makes the collagen inside the wall shrink and the vein to close. This ultimately results in the diseased vein closing and switches the direction of blood flow to healthier veins.
- Laser Treatment – EVLT, a minimally invasive procedure to treat venous insufficiency, stands for endovenous laser ablation. This treatment is performed by the insertion of a small catheter into the vein that is causing the blood to be pushed back up into the leg. Laser ablation closes the damaged vein to stop the vein blood from moving back to the skin.
- Phlebitis Treatment – The treatment of phlebitis focuses on reducing inflammation and inhibiting the advancement of the condition. To help minimize the pressure that is caused by pooling blood from varicose veins, try compression stockings and elevating the legs whenever possible. Anti-inflammatory prescription medications from your physician can also help in the treatment of phlebitis.
Protecting Your Health
Early treatment for varicose veins can prevent unwanted symptoms and potentially life-threatening complications. Considering the many health risks associated with varicose veins, anyone who notices signs of the condition can benefit from visiting a specialist for advice and treatment. Pain, inflammation, bleeding or topical skin conditions that occur near varicose veins are all strong indicators that it may be time to consider lifestyle changes or medical intervention.