Are you one of the 25 million Americans suffering from varicose veins? This condition affects 50% of all women and 40% of all men, with the incidence increasing with age. Over 70% of people over age 70 years have the condition.
What exactly are varicose veins? Veins are the blood vessels that bring blood back to the heart. They contain valves that prevent backflow of blood. If these valves fail, the blood “refluxes”, or back flows , causing the vein to become engorged. These engorged veins are referred to as “varicose veins”, “reticular veins”, or “spider veins”, depending on their size.
The engorged veins of all sizes are cosmetically unsightly. However, they can also cause problems such as leg swelling, burning, pain, itching, restless leg symptoms, skin breakdown (ulceration), and skin damage (dermatitis).
In addition to age, risk factors for varicose veins include female gender, obesity, heredity, estrogen therapy, and prolonged standing.
Treatment of varicose veins usually involves foam sclerotherapy, a painless injection of a sclerosant medication to disintegrate the damaged section of vein. Other treatments include radiofrequency ablation, compression to reduce the swelling caused by the varicose vein, and mini-phlebectomy, a simple office procedure done under local anesthesia in which a varicose vein is removed via a series of mini-incisions.
The doctors at Melbourne Podiatry Associates are experts in the treatment of lower extremity venous conditions including varicose veins. If you suffer from this condition, please call our offices for a consultation.