Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins, often dark blue in color, near or raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often a symptom of an underlying condition called venous insufficiency.
In healthy veins, one-way valves direct the flow of the venous blood upward and inward. Blood is collected in the superficial small veins and flows into the larger veins. The blood eventually passes through valves into the deep veins and then centrally to the heart and lungs. When one or more of these valves fail to function correctly, some blood flows down the leg in the reverse direction. The blood tends to overfill and distend the branches of the superficial veins under the skin.
Over time, the veins stretch, bulge, and become visible. These swollen, engorged or rope-like veins are called varicose veins. The valves inside these veins no longer close, allowing blood to leak back down the leg causing more distention of the vein.
What are the effects and symptoms of varicose veins?
If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to swelling, increased pain, skin discoloration, and ulcerations of the lower legs. These ulcerations are difficult to treat and can become painful and easily infected. Early symptoms include:
- Pain in legs with a feeling of tiredness and heaviness
- Swelling of the ankles or lower legs
- Discolored, brownish skin near the ankle
- A rash or skin ulceration at the ankle or lower leg
- Visible enlarged veins
- Knotted, twisted veins tending to be deep bluish in color
- Skin surrounding the varicose vein may itch or burn
What factors contribute to varicose veins?
There are many factors that can lead to the development of varicose veins. Some can be controlled, while others are inevitable. The good news is that varicose veins can be treated with minimal discomfort, and virtually no down-time.
Here are some of the leading causes of varicose veins:
- Heredity – Varicose veins tend to run in families.
- Age – As we age, elastic fibers in all tissues deteriorate, leading to dilated and tortuous blood vessels.
- Obesity – Excess weight increases the pressure on the vein valves and can lead to weakening.
- Hormones – Changes in hormone levels brought on by puberty, pregnancy, menopause, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills all contribute.
- Pregnancy – Increased volume of blood in the body and increased pressures on the pelvic veins are all contributors.
- Gender – Women have an increased incidence of varicose veins, primarily due to the production of progesterone, a female hormone.
- Occupation – Prolonged sitting or standing during the job can lead to venous insufficiency.
- Lifestyle – body building or heavy weight lifting may increase the chance of developing varicose veins due to strain on the groin and pelvis.
What are the benefits of varicose vein treatment?
Varicose vein treatment can reduce uncomfortable symptoms like throbbing, swelling, and tingling. This means reduced pain and discomfort in the legs, as well as cosmetic improvement. Many patients find increased confidence when wearing shorts or swimsuits after varicose vein treatment. Additionally, varicose vein treatment can allow for a more active lifestyle.
How are varicose veins treated?
At Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa, we offer the leading vein treatments on the market, including endovenous laser treatment, ambulatory phlebectomy, and Varithena™. One treatment option may be better for specific patients, so our vein experts can recommend a customized treatment plan. Each option can produce long-term results with the right aftercare and lifestyle changes.
To learn more about our comprehensive vein treatments during a consultation, contact our Pewaukee office by calling or filling out our online form.
Recovering From Varicose Veins Treatment
Do varicose veins only develop in the legs?
Varicose veins can develop anywhere, but they most often develop in the legs and feet.
How long is recovery after varicose vein surgery?
Recovery from varicose vein surgery can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks. After two weeks, you should be able to resume all your normal activities. You can speed up your recovery by elevating your legs and wearing compression socks.
Who is at the highest risk of developing varicose veins?
Some of the demographics most likely to develop varicose veins are people over the age of 40, women, and people with added body weight like obesity. Genetics plays a large role and pregnancy, especially multiples.
Can spider veins turn into varicose veins?
Spider veins are not the same as varicose veins. Although spider veins can eventually turn into varicose veins, it’s rare. Spider veins are considered a cosmetic concern.
Are compression stockings actually an effective treatment?
Compression stockings can help reduce pain and swelling in the legs associated with varicose veins. However, compression stockings can’t cure or treat varicose veins – our team can help you explore treatment options at our office.
If I have varicose veins, should I change how I exercise?
Low-impact exercises are best for varicose veins. Walking or biking can help build the muscles in the calves and improve circulation without putting strain on the veins. Avoid exercises like squats or heavy lifting that put pressure on your legs or abdomen.
Will one procedure eliminate my varicose veins?
Varicose veins treatments typically achieve good results with a single treatment, although it can be difficult to judge how many treatments you’ll need without a consultation. Our team will ensure you have a complete treatment schedule for your unique circumstances.
What will happen if I leave my varicose veins untreated?
Varicose veins can worsen over time and cause an increase in uncomfortable symptoms. If left untreated, they can eventually develop into serious circulatory concerns including increased risk of deep vein thrombosis and irreversible skin changes.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
Varicose veins can typically be diagnosed using a simple physical examination. In some cases, ultrasound can be used to view blood flow in the legs.
What Is Sclerotherapy and How Does It Work?
Sclerotherapy can treat varicose and spider veins. It involves injecting a special solution into the veins which causes the vein to scar and close, rerouting blood flow through healthier veins.
What Happens When a Varicose Vein is removed By Treatment?
When a varicose vein is removed, it does not negatively impact circulation in the area. Blood flow simply reroutes to other, healthier veins instead.
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Why Choose Wisconsin Vein Center & Medispa?
If you are looking to achieve the complexion of your dreams, Wisconsin Vein Center & Medispa can help! Dr. Manjoney and her team work together to ensure that you achieve the best possible care for natural-looking and beautiful results! By incorporating cutting-edge skincare technologies with our team’s artistic eye, you can feel confident you are in good hands. Our facility is conveniently located in Pewaukee, WI, which is only 14 minutes from Waukesha and 16 minutes away from Brookfield.
Ready to Show Off Your Lovely Legs?
Varicose and spider veins are common issues that many patients wish to address. These veins can cause self-consciousness for many, and even be painful for some. At Wisconsin Vein Center & MediSpa, we offer effective vein treatment options to help patients look and feel their best. We have found that fall and winter tend to