Say goodbye to varicose veins
Varicose veins are sometimes a cosmetic concern, but can also cause discoloration, skin irritation, itching, throbbing, swelling and discomfort in the leg. In some cases, they can indicate serious problems, such as a higher risk of other circulatory problems.
Varicose veins are abnormal, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but they most commonly affect the legs because standing or sitting for long periods of time, pregnancy, age and obesity increases the pressure in the veins of the lower body.
“Those with varicose veins should first get a consultation from a physician,” says Dr. Glen Coulomb, clinical phlebologist at Advocate Medical Group. “It is important to check overall health and address any other health concerns that may have resulted in varicose veins or complicate any necessary treatment.”
Treatment may involve self-care measures or procedures by your physician to close unwanted veins.
One type of treatment is endovenous laser ablation, a minimally invasive treatment that uses laser energy to cauterize and close abnormally enlarged veins in the legs.
“The procedure has high success and low complication rates,” Dr. Coulomb says.
The treatment is generally performed with a local anesthetic and typically requires no sedation. The recovery time is short for the patient, and there is virtually no scarring as the procedure does not require a large incision or stitches.
Within one week of the treatment, the targeted veins should be successfully closed. Additional procedures, such as sclerotherapy, are usually necessary to treat associated veins.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment that involves the injection of a sclerosing solution into vessels, irritating the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and eventually scarring closed. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
After most treatments, a person will be able to resume their regular daily activities. Treated veins tend to fade within a few weeks, although occasionally it may take up to a month to see the full results.
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