If you have large, bulging leg veins, you’re not alone: Up to 35% of adults in the United States have visible varicose veins or swollen, twisted veins that look like dark, rope-like varicosities just beneath the surface of the skin.
Prominent leg veins can be difficult to live with, especially if they’re painful or make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Fortunately, you don’t have to — at NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center, board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Gary Nackman offers a full scope of advanced, minimally invasive varicose vein removal solutions for patients from in and around Clifton, New Jersey.
Here, our team explains how leg veins become varicose, and explores treatment options that can help you get rid of unwanted or problematic veins safely, quickly, and without surgery.
How do leg veins become varicose?
A common condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is the underlying cause of most varicose veins. With CVI, the one-way valves in your leg veins become weakened, making the blood flow from your lower extremities back to your heart less efficient, causing blood to pool behind dysfunctional valves and exert pressure on the surrounding vessel wall.
This continuous buildup of blood and intravascular pressure eventually causes the affected vein to swell, bulge, twist, distort, or become varicose.
Although anyone can develop varicose veins (and many people do), certain risk factors make their appearance more likely, including:
- Older age
- Family history
- Female gender
- Being overweight
- Multiple pregnancies
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Standing still for long stretches
For many people, varicose veins are little more than a cosmetic concern. For others, they’re a constant cause of leg pain, heaviness, itching, swelling, and other bothersome symptoms.
Top varicose vein treatment options
Staying physically active, losing excess body weight, elevating your feet when you sit, and wearing compression stockings can ease disruptive varicose vein symptoms and help prevent new varicose vein formation, but lifestyle changes can’t get rid of existing varicose veins.
Luckily, several treatments can. Top varicose vein remedies include:
Advanced visual sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy treats spider veins and small to mid-sized varicose veins that are fully visible along the surface of your skin. This minimally invasive treatment uses an injection in the problematic vein — either the FDA-approved microfoam (Varithena®) or an FDA-approved sclerosing liquid called polidocanol (Asclera®) — to collapse and seal the vessel, causing your blood to redirect itself to healthy, nearby veins.
The unused vein becomes harmless scar tissue that eventually disappears when it’s reabsorbed by your body. Most sclerotherapy-treated veins disappear completely within a few weeks.
Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
RFA is a minimally invasive vein closure technique that uses controlled heat (thermal energy) to collapse unwanted varicose veins from within. As an alternative to Varithena that works in much the same way (though via a different approach), it can be an ideal solution for unwanted varicose veins and spider veins as well as chronic venous reflux — or varicose veins that have become swollen, cramped, and painful.
Dr. Nackman performs RFA using the Venefit™ method. Using ultrasound imaging to visualize the unwanted vein in its entirety, he makes a tiny incision over one end of the vein and threads a thin, specialized catheter down its length.
The catheter emits thermal energy into the vessel walls, causing it to shrivel and collapse. As Dr. Nackman slowly withdraws the catheter, the deflated vein seals itself shut and your blood flow redirects itself to healthy veins.
Endovenous chemical ablation (EVCA)
EVCA is a nonthermal vein removal technique that uses a chemical sclerosing agent to treat sub-surface varicose veins, or larger, twisted veins that only partially appear near the surface of your skin.
Using ultrasound imaging to visualize the vein in its entirety, EVCA makes it possible to locate and treat veins that contain multiple inward bends or twists and fill them with a hypertonic saline sclerosing agent in just the right places.
Other vein removal treatments
At NJ Vein Care and Aesthetics Center, we offer vein removal solutions to match every possible need. This includes noninvasive laser vein treatments for smaller varicose veins as well as spider veins, and minimally invasive surgery (microphlebectomy) for severe, grape-like varicosities or varicose veins that haven’t responded well to sclerotherapy, RFA, or EVCA.
Get rid of problematic leg veins today
The size, severity, and location of your unwanted varicose vein help determine which vein removal solution is right for you. Whichever one it happens to be, you can expect a minimally invasive, maximally effective treatment that delivers effective results with no scarring, little risk, and minimal downtime.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to varicose veins, we can help. Call 973-791-7359 to reach our Clifton, New Jersey, office today, or click online to schedule a visit with Dr. Nackman any time.