Surgical Services: Varicose Veins
Welcome to Fort HealthCare Surgical Associates varicose veins information site. We are committed to you, your family and our community.
You can schedule a consultation with one of our Surgical Specialists to evaluate if you are a candidate for VNUS Closure. Simply call Fort HealthCare Surgical Associates at 920.563.7900.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are a symptom of Venous Reflux Disease. When veins develop leaky or malfunctioning valves, blood can flow through them in the wrong direction. Over time, the blood that leaks through these valves dilates veins close to the skin, making them visible.
In America, 72% of women and 42% of men will experience varicose veins by the time they reach their sixties.
What is Superficial Venous Reflux Disease?
Despite its name, there is nothing trivial about superficial venous reflux disease. In fact, symptoms left untreated will worsen over time. Superficial veins are so called because they're the ones closest to the skin; they're also the primary target of the VNUS Closure® procedure.
Your veins serve one purpose: to bring blood from your extremities back to the heart. This task is more difficult for veins in the lower extremities due to gravity, which is why veins have valves. Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. These one-way valves are supposed to keep the blood flowing from your toes all the way back to your heart. Muscle contractions compress the veins, pushing blood up to the heart, while these one-way valves prevent the blood from leaking or "refluxing" back into the veins.
Venous Reflux Disease develops when valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become damaged or diseased. The pressure of the backwards flow within the vein causes it to dilate, or become varicose. As a result the valves do not close properly, leading to symptoms that may include:
- Varicose veins
- Leg heaviness and fatigue
- Skin changes and skin ulcers
Prevalence is highly correlated to age and gender. Risk factors include multiple pregnancies, family history, obesity or professions that involve standing for long periods of time.