Forget Vanity: Varicose Veins Are a Health Warning

by Gregory S

hsp varicose veins health warnign

When varicose veins are involved, do not confuse “vein” with “vain.” Although most people today associate varicose veins as exclusively a cosmetic issue, they can serve as a general health warning that should be taken seriously.

While many choose to remove varicose veins due to their unsightly physical appearance, it is important to get the veins checked out by a doctor as they may increase your chances of ulcers, blood clots and other future health maladies.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins develop when one-direction valves are damaged or too weak to function. In other words, the veins struggle to keep your blood moving back to your heart. Once the valves begin to struggle, the blood collects in your veins and causes prominent swelling.

Although varicose veins are usually associated with legs and ankles, they can appear elsewhere on the body. Hemorrhoids are another form of varicose veins.

Varicose veins are most commonly linked to significant age, weight gain, or pregnancy but can also develop from standing in place for long periods of time. Smoking, high-estrogen birth control, and similar habits can likewise affect your chances of varicose veins.

What is the Damage?

Varicose veins can contribute to a form of blood clotting known as phlebitis. While not life threatening, phlebitis blood clots can be extremely painful.

That said, if a blood clot grows close to the skin, the chances of that clot moving to a deeper vein does increase. Doctors say there is 20 to 40 percent chance that phlebitis sufferers will also develop a deep vein clot. If a deep vein clot, also known as thrombosis, breaks loose, it could move through the bloodstream to the lung and cause a potentially life threatening blockage called pulmonary embolism.

Another medical condition associated with varicose veins is venous disease. Additionally, a person with varicose veins may have swelling in the legs, develop hyperpigmentation at the ankle or develop painful venous leg ulcers inside the leg around the ankle.

What Can be Done (Treatments)?

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for people struggling with varicose veins with various levels of treatments.

A typical first stage treatment for varicose veins, compression stockings gently restrict the legs and help encourage blood flow.

In more advanced cases, varicose veins can be physically removed. One of the most common procedures is radio frequency ablation. Essentially, a catheter is inserted into the vein. The vein is heated using a radio frequency electrode or laser fiber, allowing the vein to close and prompt blood flow towards other healthier veins.

Smaller veins can be removed with miniscule incisions. These veins and incisions are so minute that stitches are not actually needed. After the procedure, the patient wears the compression stockings for less than a month.

The latest technological breakthrough is called Venaseal. Currently in trial, the product physically glues vein walls to each other, restricting all blood flow to that particular vein.

Seek Help

Above all, if you begin to notice the development of varicose veins, arrange an appointment to have them checked out. Doctors are waiting to help you today!

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