Myth Busters: Varicose Veins Edition
by Gregory S
According to recent studies, varicose veins affect up to 50 percent of women and 30 percent of men. With such a prevalence of varicose veins, it is perhaps shocking that most people are not properly educated on the causes, effects, and treatments of chronic venous disease. The following are some of the biggest fallacies surrounding varicose veins.
Among the most common falsehoods about varicose veins is the notion that they will invariably recur, even post treatment. This is simply not true. Thanks to the board certification and improving technology, varicose veins successfully treated by professional and authorized physicians have an recurrence rate of 5 to 10 percent.
Another myth is that women should wait until they have completed all their desired pregnancies before treating varicose veins. While unsatisfactory treatments plagued the past, new procedures prove to be safe and painless, while offering 98 percent permanent success. Still, obstetric physicians will often suggest having their patients screened for a venous insufficiency evaluation. Doing so may potentially prevent some of the reported pain varicose veins contribute to the pregnancy process.
The idea that varicose veins are exclusively a cosmetic issue and that if a person does not experience pain there is zero motivation, beyond vanity, to seek consultation, is completely untrue. Not treating varicose veins can ultimately prove dangerous to the health of any patient. Varicose veins should be treated without delay.
Another misrepresentation is that varicose veins are not covered at all by insurance. In actuality, although the treatment of spider veins is considered cosmetic, varicose vein treatment is not and is nearly invariably covered by insurance. Like dental cavities, the sooner venous hypertension is treated, the higher the rate of success and the more cost effective it becomes for the insurance companies.
You may have heard that vein stripping is the ideal way to treat varicose veins but this too is a myth. Vein stripping is invasive, demands anesthesia, and is generally an ineffective method of dealing with chronic venous disease. Instead, many people now go with ultrasound foam sclerotherapy. Rated 98 percent effective, ultrasound foam sclerotherapy causes little pain, has no side effects, and offers same day recovery.
Perhaps the cruelest falsehood is that varicose veins are strictly a sign of aging. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although varicose veins occur in older adults, it is quite common to observe similar veins in teenagers and young adults. Studies also reveal the disease is mainly hereditary.
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