Vein disease and varicose veins are not only an aesthetic issue, but also health risks for more serious problems. Vein diseases fall into two categories: improper drainage of the veins (venous insufficiency) and blood clots. Venous insufficiency is also known as varicose veins, which can be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and underlying medical conditions. Blood clotscan form in any vein and carry a serious risk, as they can affect the return of blood to the heart. Blood clots that form deep in the veins can also break off and travel to the lungs, causing life-threatening complications.
While there is no single cause of vein disease, certain factors can increase your risk for developing the condition, such as genetics, lifestyle choices (smoking, standing or sitting without moving around much, and obesity), and underlying medical conditions (circulation problems caused by diabetes and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy).
How is Vein Disease Treated?
There are different treatments available to treat vein disease and varicose veins. For milder cases, treatment may simply involve wearing compression stockings to help reduce swelling and improve circulation. Compression stockings come in different strengths, and your doctor will prescribe the appropriate strength based on the results of their assessment of your vein issue.
In more severe cases, treatment may require procedures to remove the problem veins. Most procedures to treat varicose veins are now minimally invasive. Below are some of the most commonly used methods to treat problematic veins:
- Endovenous laser ablation: This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a small fiber into the vein and using lasers to heat and destroy it.
- Sclerotherapy: This treatment involves injecting a solution into the vein, which causes it to collapse and eventually fade away. For larger varicose veins, doctors use chemical sclerotherapy, which involves the use of a chemical solution, unlike what’s used in sclerotherapy for spider veins, which is a saline solution.
- Radiofrequency ablation: Like endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy delivered through a small probe inserted into the varicose vein in order to seal it shut. The main difference between these two procedures is that radiofrequency waves cause less tissue damage than lasers.
Thrombosis treatment may involve medication such as blood thinning medications to break up blood clots. Surgery can also be performed to place a stent in the vein or to physically remove the blood clot.
To minimize the risk of a recurrence of varicose veins, your doctor will likely recommend that you maintain a healthy weight, as carrying extra weight puts additional strain on your veins. They may also recommend avoiding high heels and other shoes that put undue pressure on your feet and ankles. It is also important to start maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet and lots of physical exercise.
If you are concerned about varicose veins, see a vein doctor for treatment. Varicose veins are easily treated now in quick and simple outpatient procedures that should not hurt at all.
Varicose Veins Treatment in Boca Raton, FL
At Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, our board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional cardiologists can quickly treat your vein issues with compassion and expertise. Our doctors not only treat vascular issues but also specialize in the treatment of a full range of venous diseases.