A few people are able to manage varicose veins by making some lifestyle adjustments. Unfortunately, others develop severe cases that can result in clots, inflammation, and even ulcers. Before they become worse, it’s crucial that you seek varicose vein treatment. At R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, CA, we understand the severity of this condition. We are here to provide you with permanent relief and peace of mind so that you can live life with no worries.
The Dangers of Untreated Varicose Veins
Varicose veins might be more than just painful. They can cause discomfort, inflammation, and restless leg syndrome. These symptoms can directly affect everyday activities and standards of living. When not treated, varicose veins can be harmful since the blood in these veins can clot and form a thick mass.
Some people underestimate the importance of varicose vein treatments. You may be tempted to postpone seeing a doctor if you only have a minor issue with veins in your legs. However, as time passes, minor symptoms can become difficult to treat. Delaying varicose vein treatment can cause your problems to get worse. The earlier you see a doctor, the sooner you will identify and treat your illness.
Worsening of Symptoms
When left untreated, varicose veins can show worse symptoms than you initially thought. Some of these symptoms can include:
- Physical discomfort
- Feelings of weakness and numbness
- Swelling in the ankle or leg
- Persistent fatigue
These symptoms can persist over time as your condition worsens. When left untreated, these symptoms can make it difficult for you to resume your everyday activities and maintain a routine.
Formation of ulcers
As your symptoms worsen over time, a venous ulcer may form on the affected leg. The skin affected by the varicose vein starts to deteriorate and develops what is known as a venous ulcer. They look like shallow sores with asymmetrical borders.
Venous ulcers are known to be caused by faulty venous valves, which do not effectively prevent reverse blood flow. These ulcers can be challenging and painful to treat.
Hyperpigmentation may occur as the blood flowing through the varicose veins spills through the skin. Veins cannot persistently withstand high pressure. As the blood becomes deprived of oxygen and nutrients, the skin becomes dark and discolored. The discoloration is observed in skin areas where the blood has spilled into the tissues. Swelling and inflammation may also be present.
The condition refers to the swelling of the vein under the skin. It may occur due to a reduction of the blood supply into the vein. Superficial thrombosis can also cause skin redness and pain. Due to this condition, the vein becomes tender and firm. You may notice swelling and pain as you try to move the affected leg. Fortunately, it’s uncommon for superficial thrombophlebitis to reach deeper veins.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
This condition refers to the formation of a deep leg vein blood clot. The formation of thick clots is caused by the slow movement of blood in the weakened vein, which builds up and provides a way to form a coagulant. The condition is very dangerous because it can result in a permanent leg injury.
Most of the time, it results in pain and swelling. It may dissolve on its own, but untreated cases that worsen can eventually cause complications such as pulmonary embolism. If you suffer from this condition, it’s necessary to seek treatment before complications arise.
Lipodermatosclerosis is a disorder that accompanies vein insufficiency. It’s a form of inflammation that causes visible changes to the skin on the lower legs. Symptoms may include pain and swelling. In this disorder, blood drained through the leg tissues induces the discoloration and swelling of the skin. Treatment can reduce symptoms or prevent the condition from progressing.
Because varicose veins form near the skin’s surface, they can rupture and cause minor injuries to the skin. Some people may notice spontaneous varicose vein bleeding that typically happens at night or in the shower.
Often it starts when you introduce pressure to the affected area by rubbing your leg with the heel of the other leg, or you scratch your knees together. The skin that covers the varicose vein gradually thins and causes the vein beneath to rupture.
What Can Cause Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins can develop in anyone, regardless of age or health condition. However, certain risk factors can improve others’ chances of developing varicose veins. Note that while lifestyle changes can address some of these factors, others are beyond your control. Do you think that you are at risk for developing varicose veins? You may want to consider immediate treatment before the symptoms worsen.
Weak Veins or Valves
Weakened veins or valves primarily cause varicose veins. These valves ensure that the blood flow goes only one way. They prevent the blood from being pulled by gravity and returning to your lower veins. If your valves are weak, it becomes possible for blood to flow the wrong way or build up. As blood pools, the vein begins to swell, causing the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins.
Aging and Lifestyle
Many people think that the natural cause of varicose veins is aging since they seem to appear more as we grow old. While it’s true that biological factors may cause varicose veins, there are lifestyle changes that we can also make to prevent or treat them.
Some of these lifestyle changes include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Consuming less salt and more fiber
- Avoid wearing high heels and tight clothing
- Elevating and easing pressure on the legs
- Regularly changing sitting or standing positions
Some people are born with naturally weak or compromised blood vessels. Genetic factors are a likely cause of developing varicose veins. More than half of people who suffer from varicose veins have a close relative who also suffers from the same condition.
A woman’s body undergoes intensive and drastic changes throughout pregnancy. One of these is an increase in the volume of blood within the body. This increase in blood volume can quickly lead to the development of an enlarged vein. The size and weight of the uterus can also place a great deal of pressure on the veins.
Birth Control Pills
Medications containing female hormones, such as contraceptive pills and hormone therapy to treat symptoms related to menopause, can increase the chances of varicose veins developing. Progesterone and estrogen are female hormones known to cause the veins to dilate, eventually resulting in varicose veins.
Obesity can cause additional pressure and weight on the veins. The added weight can make it harder for your veins to push blood against gravity back to the heart. Added stress to the veins can cause them to become damaged or to deteriorate over time. By managing your weight, you can prevent the development of varicose veins due to obesity.
Stress is one of the major causes of varicose veins for many reasons. First, stress can contribute to the rise of blood pressure, causing blood to accumulate and harm the valves. Second, stress is often a contributing factor to weight gain, another major cause of varicose veins. If you work a job that includes sitting or standing all day, you can suffer from increased leg pressure, leading to the formation of varicose veins.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
There are various ways to treat varicose veins. Some options are non-invasive, while some can be surgical in nature.
Compression stockings are therapeutic garments that use pressure to facilitate better blood flow. They fit tight to ease tension as they move up the leg. By supporting blood flow and lowering the pressure within your veins, compression stockings also help relieve symptoms such as pain and swelling. They can also prevent varicose veins from worsening over time.
A laser is a light-focused pulse. When used in varicose vein treatment, heat from laser energy destroys a vein, causing the formation of scar tissue. A “closed” vein eventually loses blood and dies. Laser treatment is less traumatic than vein ligation and stripping, and the healing period is shorter. After a year or two, the damaged vein can completely disappear. Since laser vein surgery is performed externally, it’s only ideal for treating small varicose veins just below the surface.
On the other hand, endovenous laser therapy is the treatment of choice for larger leg varicose veins. A laser fiber passes through a thin tube into the vein. We observe your vein from a duplex imaging screen when doing this.
Ligation and Stripping
Vein ligation is a mild surgery. It is used to remove a weakened vein and avoid vein injury complications. If multiple valves in a vein are badly impaired, the vein is removed or stripped. During the procedure, an incision is made below the vein. The vein is threaded to the first incision before it is grasped and extracted.
During this operation, we may make one or even more incisions over the damaged veins. Afterward, the vein is sealed off. The ligation cuts off defective valves only and does not cause harm to function valves. Blood can keep circulating through other veins that still have functional valves.
Sclerotherapy uses very fine thin needle injections. The primary goal of the treatment is to enhance the appearance of the skin affected by varicose veins. It can alleviate associated symptoms such as discomfort, swelling, and cramping. The injectable solution damages the vein lining, causing it to swell and clump together. Over time, the vessel becomes scar tissue and disappears from view. Each therapy session can permanently remove up to 80% of the treated veins.
To remove a varicose vein, radiofrequency energy is channeled through a thin tube. This tube is inserted into the vein by a small incision. Electrical charges through the tube heat up and destroy the veins, with temperatures as high as 248°F.
VeinGogh is a new form of treatment. It uses the power of heat to decompose weak veins, eventually causing them to disappear. This technique can handle even the slightest of varicose veins. With pinpoint precision, we can perform quick treatments of each region without fear of damaging nearby tissues and other vessels.
This treatment is nearly painless, taking just a few minutes. It is also suitable for treating almost all skin types. Because heat is administered by a fiber approximately the same size as human hair, the recovery process is quick and has no downtime.
Find Relief From Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can cause pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. Luckily, there are minimally-invasive treatments you can choose from, so you’ll no longer have to worry about the complications of this condition. To know the best solution for your case, contact R Shaheen Vascular in Mountain View, California, to schedule a personal consultation today. We’re here to help you discover solutions and find relief.