Have you noticed varicose veins on someone else’s legs or on your own? Believe it or not, they’re not just an eyesore, they can be a sign of a more serious medical condition. If not treated, they can lead to health complications. The vein specialists at South Florida Surgical Group in Miami, Florida recommend getting your varicose veins treated before any problems arise. The added bonus is that you get to enjoy smooth skin, too!
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are those swollen veins that stick out primarily on the legs. They can be red, purple, or brownish in color, and may look twisted. But why exactly do veins get that way?
When the valves that prevent your blood from flowing backward in your veins are weak or not working properly, blood flows backwards and pools around the damaged valves. This causes a backup and makes the veins bulge. You may develop varicose veins from genetically weak vein valves, vein disorders, high or consistent pressure on your legs (such as from being overweight), or from sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Women and older people are more likely to develop varicose veins. Pregnant women also develop them as they gain weight and have an increase in blood volume. Both of those factors can cause veins to twist and stretch.
Are they dangerous?
Most of the time, varicose veins are nothing more than a nuisance or a cosmetic concern. If you have them, you may try to keep your legs covered year-round. For others, varicose veins are linked to some health complications, including ulcers, sores, blood clots, and bleeding (which is considered a medical emergency — contact us right away if you start bleeding from a varicose vein).
Sometimes, untreated varicose veins can lead to a serious medical condition called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. DVT can lead to poor circulation and issues with organs and tissues that aren’t receiving the blood supply they need. If and when blood clots break free from the tissues and travel to the lungs or brain, they can be deadly.
What treatments are available?
We offer a variety of treatments for varicose veins.
If your varicose veins aren’t severe, we may give you compression socks to wear that will help improve blood circulation in your legs.
One of our specialists injects a solution into your vein that causes the damaged vein to scar and collapse. This causes the blood to reroute to nearby, healthier veins.
Depending on your situation, one of our surgeons will perform venous ablation using a laser or radiofrequency device. Each of these cause the vein to heat up and collapse without damaging surrounding tissues. Again, blood is rerouted to healthier veins.
In this procedure, your doctor makes a tiny incision and uses a special hook to pull out a varicose vein.
These procedures are minimally invasive and shouldn’t be very painful. When you meet us for a consultation, we’ll discuss your unique circumstances and answer any questions you may have about the treatments and recovery.
To learn more about varicose vein treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Renfrow or Dr. Steven Kanter by calling 305-614-0039 or by booking online.