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Varicose Veins – Vein Reflux

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are dark blue or purple, bulging veins that can be seen through the skin. They are caused by an inability of the veins to properly return blood to the heart. Therefore, the blood pools in the veins and causes them to become swollen and discolored. Varicose veins are often caused by venous reflux disease.

Identifying Symptoms

You usually know that you have varicose veins by looking at them. These veins protrude above the skin’s surface (though they are still covered by skin). They are dark in color and they look like a tangle of rope. The area around the veins might be swollen, as well, or the veins may appear raised on their own.

Most often these veins appear on the legs. However, they can appear as low as the ankles and as high as the groin. They are usually found on the back of the calf or knee. They are next found most often on the inside of the thigh.

Most of the time your symptoms are only the visual aspect of the veins. However, you can experience other varicose vein symptoms. Symptoms such as your legs may feel tired, heavy, or achy. You may also experience restless legs, muscle cramps, and itching skin. Additionally, swelling of the ankles and throbbing pain are symptoms. Your symptoms may get worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time. Your symptoms may get better after resting and putting your legs up.
 
Another factor can be changing hormone levels may affect your symptoms. Due to this, you may notice more symptoms during your menstrual cycle. You may also notice changes during pregnancy or menopause.

Blood clots, skin ulcers, and other issues in parts of the body can occur due to vein reflux. Varicose veins can be a sign of a serious circulatory problem. This is why seeing a vascular specialist is important. Coastal Vascular Center operates in the Houston Area. We can examine and provide treatment options.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins in your legs. One-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs up toward your heart. When these valves don’t work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up. The veins become weak, large, and twisted. This leads to varicose veins.
 
Varicose veins often run in families. You may be born with defective valves or weak walls in your veins, or you may develop them later in life.
 
Varicose veins are more common in women than in men. And they happen more often as people get older.
 
Varicose veins often form during pregnancy. They might become less prominent after pregnancy and may disappear completely.

Houston Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are many options for treating varicose veins.

You may try home treatment options. These may be all you need to ease your symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse. You can:

    • Wear compression stockings
    • Prop up (elevate) your legs
    • Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
    • Get plenty of exercise

Sclerotherapy

Milder cases can be treated non-surgically. Sclerotherapy treatment can seal the veins with a chemical solution. This is a treatment that has been proven safe and gives great results.

If you have sclerotherapy, this is what happens during treatment:

  • Your doctor injects a chemical into the spider or varicose vein, which irritates the wall of the vein. Different areas of the vein receive the injection.
  • A compression stocking is then placed on each leg.
  • We will observe you for a period of time and then you will be able to go home.
  • To help prevent possible side effects, you will need to take daily walks. Also, wear compression stockings. Most patients wear compression stockings for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • You can return to work and most activities the next day.

Laser Therapy

Lasers can treat spider veins and small varicose veins. The purpose here is to fade the coloration. During laser treatment, laser light is directed to the vein.

Small spider veins may disappear immediately after treatment. Larger spider veins and varicose veins will darken. You will likely see them for 1 to 3 months before they disappear. To get complete clearing, you may need 3 or more treatments.

Most patients can return to work and many of their normal activities the next day.

Surgical Options

Surgical options are available for more serious cases. Cases of bulging veins and those that cause serious pain and swelling. Radiofrequency Ablation is a treatment option used by Coastal Vascular Center. In this treatment, you receive local anesthesia, which numbs the treatment area. A small incision is made and a catheter goes into the vein. The doctor activates a radiofrequency device, which heats up the vein. This causes it to collapse and seal shut. The heat does not harm the surrounding area.

To help prevent possible side effects, you will need to take daily walks and wear compression stockings. Most patients wear compression stockings for 1 to 2 weeks. You can return to work and most activities the next day.

Coastal Vascular Center

Coastal Vascular Center is a facility in the Houston area dedicated to solving vascular problems. We are experienced in the treatment of vein reflux and varicose veins. Book an appointment with us today to see how we can help you.

Varicose Veins and Vein Reflux

Contact Coastal Vascular Center Today!

713-999-6056
281-949-6022
See Dr. Ayar's profile on Healthgrades.
American Board Of Radiology
American Board Of Vascular Medicine