Many people in the United States are worried about the appearance of varicose veins. However, if you are okay with how they look, is it alright to delay treatment until they become painful?
Dr. Gary Nackman is a board-certified vascular surgeon at NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center in Oradell and Clifton, New Jersey. The Consumer Research Council of America recognizes him as one of America's top surgeons.
Dr. Nackman and his team specialize in minimally invasive and noninvasive vascular and aesthetic skin care services for conditions such as varicose veins.
Here’s what Dr. Nackman says about the benefits of treating varicose veins before they hurt.
What are the health complications of varicose veins?
Varicose veins are most common in the legs, where blood must work against gravity to return to the heart. While not all cases result in discomfort, leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to various medical concerns. These can include:
Varicose veins increase your risk of developing blood clots. While they are frequently found in the superficial leg veins and can cause severe pain and swelling, it's important to note that blood clots can also form in the deep veins.
This condition, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can pose a severe and life-threatening health risk if a clot breaks away and travels to vital organs such as the lungs or brain.
Varicose veins can cause skin ulcers (open sores) that frequently develop around the lower legs and ankles. These ulcers are painful and challenging to treat, often requiring advanced chronic wound care to prevent infection and other complications.
Chronic venous insufficiency
Varicose veins are both a cause and a common symptom of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Linked to increased pressure in veins, CVI causes persistent swelling, skin changes, and aching or cramping pain in the legs.
How do you treat varicose veins?
Ordinarily, in a healthy leg vein, small flap-like valves within the vein help move blood back toward the heart. But weakened vein walls and dysfunctional valves interfere with this process, causing blood to collect in the vein.
The sluggish blood flow causes the vein to stretch and twist, resulting in the bulging and discoloration you notice with varicose veins. As the blood pools, it also forces excess fluid and other waste products into surrounding tissue, resulting in swelling and skin changes common with varicose veins.
If your symptoms are mild, you may benefit from compression stockings and other conservative therapies that assist veins in moving blood upward. Walking, for instance, can relieve swelling and discomfort since the muscular contractions in your legs help push blood along and remove excess fluid from the surrounding tissue.
However, the only permanent fix for varicose veins is removing or sealing the damaged vessel. This causes your body to reroute blood to a nearby healthy vein, resolving the circulatory issues related to varicose veins. In addition, because a sealed vein dies, the cosmetic effects fade as your body disposes of the cellular debris.
Fortunately, advances in medical technology and technique offer many essentially painless, highly effective, minimally invasive solutions for closing varicose veins.
Which varicose vein treatment is right for me?
Effective varicose vein treatments vary, depending on the location, type, and number of veins affected. At NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center, Dr. Nackman develops customized treatment strategies based on evaluation results.
Your plan may include one or more of the following in-office treatments to close or collapse a vein:
During a minimally invasive Venefit procedure, Dr. Nackman uses radiofrequency energy to seal varicose veins.
Varithena is an injectable foam that causes the targeted vein to collapse and close.
With this therapy, Dr. Nackman uses injectable polidocanol to close the vein.
Because the vein is accessed via a needle puncture and treatment takes place within the vein (endovenous), pain is minimal and easily controlled with a topical anesthetic to prevent discomfort at the injection sites.
Schedule an evaluation today by calling NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center in Oradell and Clifton, New Jersey, or request an appointment online.