Vein Specialist Centers wants you to stay informed, so we answer some commonly asked questions about vein disease and treatment.
What are varicose veins?
Enlarged, sometimes twisted veins that have become swollen due to venous insufficiency causing blood to pool in the legs. Veins become varicose when their valves fail to successfully pump blood back up to the heart.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are dilated capillaries closer to the surface of the skin. They can be red, purple, or blue, smaller, and usually not raised. Spider veins are most common on the legs and face.
What is vein disease?
Vein disease, also known as venous insufficiency, is the improper functioning of the vein valves within the legs that can cause painful symptoms. It is the leading cause of symptomatic spider and varicose veins.
What causes varicose or spider veins?
There are many possible causes of varicose veins: family history, age, gender, pregnancy or hormones, being overweight, or lack of movement.
What are the signs and symptoms of varicose and spider veins?
Leg pain or cramping, restless legs, especially at night, a feeling of heaviness or soreness, tenderness around veins, itching or burning, swelling of the legs or ankles, skin discoloration, or non-healing wounds.
What causes varicose veins to flare up?
Standing for an extensive time at your job, gaining weight, or being pregnant can add more pressure if you’ve had a change in hormones, or just aging can all affect when you will experience more pain from vein disease.
Can varicose and spider veins return after treatment?
Most patients experience excellent results from vein treatments like EVLT; however, there are a few reasons why varicose veins may appear even after treatment. These reasons include: if you have a strong genetic predisposition, have another underlying condition such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or if you become pregnant after treatment.
What are venous ulcers, and how do they develop?
Venous ulcers are caused by poor circulation in the leg veins due to venous insufficiency. Venous ulcers appear as sores on the legs where the skin has become inflamed due to pooled blood.
What is restless leg syndrome (RLS)?
RLS is an uncontrollable urge or need to move your legs to stop unpleasant sensations, especially at nighttime or while asleep. Venous insufficiency is an underdiagnosed cause of restless leg syndrome that a leg ultrasound can easily identify. Treatment can be life-changing.
Are large varicose veins dangerous?
If left untreated, large varicose veins can lead to serious complications. If you are experiencing leg cramps, pain, swelling, or heaviness, contact Vein Specialist Centers for a consultation.
How can I prevent varicose veins?
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent the development of varicose veins. However, there are things you can do to improve your circulation and overall health. Some of these steps include: exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, elevating your legs, and adjusting your sitting or standing positions regularly.
What happens if I don’t treat varicose veins?
Left untreated, varicose veins can become debilitating. Symptoms of leg pain, fatigue, cramping, swelling, itching, burning, or restlessness can start to impede your daily life. Untreated vein symptoms may prevent you from exercising, being able to wear a regular shoe or boot size, getting a good night’s rest, or being able to stand during the day at work.
How do you prevent varicose veins if you have a job that requires standing all day?
Wearing supportive shoes, taking short breaks from standing, performing ankle rotations, remembering to stretch and flex your calves throughout the day, taking short walks at lunch, limiting saturated fats, avoiding cigarettes, and drinking lots of water can help improve circulation and decrease your risk for varicose veins if your job requires standing during the day.
How does pregnancy affect varicose veins?
Women who are pregnant experience higher volumes of blood flow during the pregnancy. The increased blood flow can contribute to enlarged veins in your legs and make developing varicose veins more likely. Another cause of varicose veins during pregnancy has been linked to the change in hormones women undergo during pregnancy.