Varicose Veins Overview
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins, also known as varicosities, are dilated blood vessels that protrude out of the skin’s surface, looking enlarged, tortuous, twisted, or tangled. Their appearance is often compared to dense tree branches or masses of tangled ropes. Varicose veins can develop anywhere on the body, but they’re particularly common on the legs, thighs, buttocks, and other lower extremities. According to research, varicose veins affect 1 in 3 people living in the United States.
What’s the root cause of varicose veins?
Chronic venous insufficiency is the root cause of varicose veins. However, to understand how varicose veins are formed, you must understand how veins work.
Veins are blood vessels responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood from various parts of the body to the heart. The veins in the legs have one-way doors, known as vein valves, that resist the force of gravity and ensure blood flows towards the heart (moving up rather than down). When your vein valves collapse (due to numerous factors), blood flows backward due to gravity and accumulates in the leg veins. Over time, the pressure within the superficial leg veins increases, eventually leading to the formation of bulging varicose veins.
You can also develop varicose veins because of vascular inflammation (рhlеbіtіѕ) or congenital abnormalities, but chronic venous insufficiency is the most common root cause.
Who is most likely to get varicose veins?
- Women: Studies show that varicose veins are far more common amongst women than men. That’s because the risk of vein disease increases with higher estrogen levels. For that reason, varicose veins are even more common amongst women who have undergone multiple pregnancies (or are currently pregnant), post-menopausal, and those undergoing hormone therapies.
- Age: The risk of vein disease and varicose veins increases with age. Men over 50 are far more likely to get varicose veins.
- Family History: Genetic predisposition is the leading risk factor for varicose veins and vein disease.
- Job: People with jobs that require long periods of sitting or standing in one place are far more likely to get varicose veins. As such, varicose veins are common amongst those with desk jobs, teachers, nurses, and drivers.
Do varicose veins produce any symptoms?
Varicose veins are bulging leg veins that cause severe self-consciousness and social anxiety, but they’re largely symptomatic. However, even though varicose veins don’t cause major symptoms, the underlying chronic venous insufficiency causes numerous symptoms and potential complications.
The early symptoms of vein disease include leg swelling, aching legs, leg heaviness, throbbing leg veins, spider veins, fatty deposits under the skin (lіроdеrmаtоѕсlеrоѕіѕ), leg cramps, and restless leg syndrome. These symptoms usually worsen as the day progresses.
If left untreated, vein disease and varicose veins can also cause potential complications, such as bluish or brown skin discoloration, dry and red skin (stasis dermatitis), non-healing leg wounds (leg ulcers), and deep vein thrombosis.
How do you diagnose and treat varicose veins in Long Island?
Our varicose vein treatment center in Long Island leverages cutting-edge technologies to diagnose and treat the root cause of varicose veins. Our vein doctors curate each treatment according to the patients’ specific needs. They review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, examine the affected areas, and run duplex ultrasound scans to visualize the blood flow in your leg veins.
If you have underlying vein disease, our vein doctors will discuss your minimally invasive varicose vein treatment options. While there are numerous treatment options, our vein doctors will recommend the ideal treatments based on the location and size of your varicose veins, the diagnostic results, whether you have any symptoms, and the presence of skin changes on your legs, such as leg ulcers, swelling, and eczema.
What are my varicose vein treatment options in Long Island?
- Ablation: Endovenous laser and radiofrequency ablation involve using laser or thermal energy to close the diseased vein responsible for your varicose veins. Radiofrequency ablation is widely considered the best varicose vein treatment in LI because it’s painless, comfortable, and involves minimal post-treatment bruising.
- Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy involves injecting a foam or liquid solution into the varicose veins to fuse their walls, thereby destroying the unhealthy vessels. This is yet another one of the best treatments for varicose veins.
- Surgery: Also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, this procedure involves the physical removal of the varicose veins through small incisions on the skin.
- Exercise: Running, swimming, and cycling can reduce the discomfort and symptoms of vein disease, but they don’t provide lasting relief.
- Compression Stockings: Skin-tight compression stockings also provide temporary relief from varicose veins without treating the underlying vein disease.
Is varicose vein treatment safe?
Varicose vein treatment is completely safe and effective. Radiofrequency ablation and sclerotherapy have nearly perfect success rates, and they cause little-to-no post-treatment side effects or complications. Furthermore, our vein doctors in Long Island calibrate the treatments according to your unique venous anatomy to ensure optimal results.