What are Varicose Veins and How Do They Form?
Varicose veins are weak or damaged vein valves that impede the veins’ ability to maintain blood flow. They appear on the skin as bumpy or rope-like branches which can be blueish, red, or purple in appearance.
These veins can form for a variety of reasons, including age, pregnancy, and obesity, as more pressure in the vein can damage the valves. Gravity can also cause varicose veins over time, as the downward pressure can cause vein valves to break over time. Heredity can also be a factor in the formation of varicose veins- if your parents or grandparents had them, your chances of developing varicose veins increase.
When the valve in your vein stops functioning properly, blood will start to pool in the leg. This can lead to insufficient circulation and chronic venous hypertension, as well as cause other serious conditions to develop. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of varicose veins so that you can seek medical help if necessary. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious complications like blood clots, ulcers, and skin damage.
Not Just a Cosmetic Issue
There is a pervasive myth that varicose veins are only a cosmetic problem, and that seeking treatment for them is only about looking better. This is simply untrue- varicose veins are a part of vein disease and not seeking treatment can lead to more health complications down the road such as vein ulcers and deep vein thrombosis, deep vein blood clots that have the potential to become a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is deadly if it reaches the lungs.
Vein Disease is a Real Disease.
Most varicose vein treatments are covered by insurance and your vein care specialist can help you select the best treatment for you.
Treatments for Healthier Legs
There are several effective treatments for healing varicose veins and lessening their appearance on the skin:
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is a treatment designed to relieve the pressure in the veins which causes varicose veins to form. The vein specialist uses heat to close the vein and redirect blood flow through the healthy veins, and, as a bonus, some patients feel better the moment they stand up after the procedure with no downtime needed for healing!
VenaSeal™ is an outpatient procedure in which a sealant is applied to damaged veins, closing the broken veins and directing blood to flow through the healthier veins. This is a less invasive procedure done in-office in only an hour, and patients can carry out regular activities the very same day!
Sclerotherapy is another effective treatment for varicose veins. A solution, called a sclerosing agent, is injected into the veins which close down the unhealthy veins. These damaged veins are reabsorbed by the body and disappear. The treatment only takes about 45 minutes.
Dr. Perlutter is the Midwest’s leading medical physician in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins. He offers all his patients personalized treatment plans and is dedicated to helping them achieve healthy and beautiful legs!
Call (847) 277-9100 to schedule an appointment today!