Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux disease develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the hear become damaged or diseased. As a result, vein valves will not close properly, leading to symptoms of:
Symptoms can worsen over time if left untreated.
In varicose veins, these valves become weakened and fail to work properly. Free to flow downward, blood pools behind the door of the valve, causing the vein to swell and become distorted. Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition that means there is a long-term problem with the veins not being able to pump blood back to your heart. When this happens, blood stays in the legs and causes swelling and aching.
Women are two to four times more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Why? Experts believe hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may be party to blame.
Here are some strategies to help keep varicose veins from worsening – and possibly prevent them in the first place:
If varicose veins cause you discomfort, you may want to speak with your healthcare provider about treatment options. Also, seek medical attention if you experience severe pain, inflammation, bleeding or open sores near a vein.
Traditionally, people with venous reflux disease would undergo vein stripping surgery, but modern advances have made other treatments available. Individuals can be treated with a minimally-invasive and more comfortable alternative to painful vein stripping surgery with either ClosureFast™ or VenaSeal™ procedures.
The ClosureFast™ procedure uses controlled and consistent heat to close the diseased vein. The VenaSeal™ closure system uses a proprietary medical adhesive to close the diseased vein. More information can be reviewed about these procedures on Medtronic’s website.
These procedures eliminate the need for groin surgery and general anesthesia, and are generally performed using local anesthesia in a vein specialist’s office or an outpatient surgical facility. The procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes and most patients typically spend two to three hours at the medical facility due to normal pre- and post-treatment procedures.
Studies show that these procedures are associated with lower rates of pain, bruising and complications and a faster improvement in your quality of life when compared to laser ablation. The average patient typically resumes normal activities within a few days following treatment, and most patients report a noticeable improvement in their symptoms within 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Bill Kontny, MD with Fort HealthCare Surgical Associates provides these varicose vein treatments. Contact the clinic to schedule a consultation appointment and discuss what treatment options may work best for you.