Varicose Veins Overview
What Is a Varicose Vein?
A varicose vein is a superficial vein that becomes engorged or twisted from excessive pressure within its walls. This pressure is often the result of blood collecting or regressing through your veins. Varicose veins are extremely common, particularly in females. That’s because women’s veins withstand added pressure during pregnancy and hormonal changes.
- Varicose veins are most often found in the legs and groin because standing upright increases pressure on those veins.
- Varicose veins are swollen due to the buildup of pressure within the vein. They’re located beneath the skin, but often bulge above the surface. Their coloration is boldly bluish-purple or red. They have distinct twists in their formation.
- A vein disease (chronic venous insufficiency) typically causes these varicosities, since it involves valve failure and subsequent pressure within veins.
- Genetic predisposition plays a large role in developing varicose veins. Factors like pregnancy, weight gain, sedentary jobs, aging, and standing for long periods of time increase the odds of varicosity. Each of these variables elevate blood pressure in deeper veins, causing varicose veins to form beneath your skin.
- Varicose veins are easily treated with minimally invasive procedures in our California Vein Clinics. Most patients no longer require invasive surgery or downtime. Our gentle solutions alleviate both your cosmetic dissatisfaction with varicose veins and the physical symptoms.
Who Is Most Likely to Get Varicose Veins?
While varicose veins are more prevalent after age 30, even children can develop them. Women are the most common patients at California Vein Clinic, particularly those who have given birth or achieved menopause. Pregnancy takes a toll on circulation, increasing venous pressure in multiple ways. Men are more likely to develop varicose veins after age 50, since the genetic component and sedentary professions are their primary risk factors, particularly if they’re overweight. Women share the same risks as men, in addition to hormonal impacts, which is why they’re more prone to the issue.
What Causes Varicose Veins to Form?
Two physical things occur in the formation of most varicose veins. First, a valve within your vein that should close to keep blood moving upward fails to do that. Second, the walls of the vein stretch and weaken as they contain the accumulation of blood. Valves fail and vein walls weaken for numerous reasons, most of which point to a condition called venous insufficiency. Aging, injury, blood clots, inactivity, obesity, hormones, and other factors contribute to the proliferation of varicose veins. Many factors, including family history, are beyond our control. But there are lifestyle adjustments you can make to lower your risk. Once a varicose vein has formed, only a vein clinic can eliminate the defective vein.
What Are Some Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Patient experience varies widely. Some patients won’t have symptoms, while others visit our San Diego and San Jose vein clinics with the following issues:
- Bulging, engorged veins you can see and feel
- Tightness and swelling in your lower limbs
- Legs that feel very heavy
- Spider veins branching around the varicose vein
- Lipodermatosclerosis- inflammation of fat (panniculitis) beneath the skin
- Discoloration in blue or brown shades on the lower extremities
- A rash-like irritation near the varicose vein (venous eczema)
- Leg cramping or restlessness
- Skin ulcerations that don’t improve with treatment
Varicose Vein Clinic Treatments:
Today, patients have several options to treat varicose veins. Our California vein doctors plot the best course of action by first analyzing your vein’s symptoms, severity, and connections to other veins, so they can make the perfect recommendation. Patients are no longer resigned to surgery for varicose veins. Most treatments are outpatient and completed within a few minutes.
How Does California Vein Clinic Diagnose Vein Disease and Varicose Veins?
Our CA vein doctors begin with a crucial step that other vein clinics might skip. Rather than simply treating surface veins, we conduct a physical exam to determine if vein disease is a possibility. Chronic venous insufficiency will cause varicose veins to continually proliferate if the deeper, defective veins aren’t treated. Our physicians always check for underlying disease and blood clots with tools like duplex ultrasound scans if your symptoms warrant it. In addition, our vein doctors are trained in all of the latest techniques, so we can offer you more than one solution.
Is It Safe to Treat Varicose Veins?
For the majority of patients, varicose vein treatment is a low-risk procedure. Our vein doctors favor minimally invasive techniques, avoiding the risks of traditional vein surgery like general anesthesia complications, wound infection, and heavy bleeding. Choosing a board certified vein specialist at an accredited facility makes varicose vein treatment remarkably safe. The doctors at California Vein Clinics customize each plan around your medical history and coexisting conditions for optimal safety.
Varicose Vein Clinic Treatment Options:
- Sclerotherapy: Our vein doctors inject a liquid or foam irritant that destroys the damaged vein. We might also pair a sclerosant with a mechanical treatment through a ClariVein catheter.
- VenaSeal: Our vein clinic uses a medical adhesive to seal off diseased veins.
- Ablаtіоn: Our vein specialists use thermal energy generated by radiofrequency or lasers to close off defective veins.
- Lifestyle adjustments: We fit patients for compression stockings and suggest tactics like leg elevation for symptom improvement.
- Surgеrу: A small number of patients require phlebectomy, a surgical “stripping” of the vаrісоѕе vein.
NOTE: California Vein Clinic typically recommends Sclerotherapy and Radiofrequency Ablation over surgery or lifestyle adjustments to eliminate varicose veins.