In most instances, varicose veins aren’t really thought of as a life-threatening medical condition. Sure, they may be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing, however, they aren’t classified as a condition that requires significant medical treatment. However, there are rare cases in which your varicose veins may require that you get intervention. Let’s take a moment to discuss the best varicose vein treatments in Dallas TX. But first, let’s define what varicose veins are, their signs and symptoms, their causes, and how you can prevent them.
What Are Varicose veins?
The main function of veins is to carrying blood to your heart. However, when your veins become enlarged, and extremely twisted and thick they’re referred to as varicose. While they can form almost anywhere in your body, they typically occur in the thighs or legs. This can be a result of genetics and will usually worsen as you get older.
The veins in your legs can be either deep or superficial. Those that aren’t deep are the closest to your skin. Deep and superficial veins are connected to each other. While the superficial veins are closest to your skin, the deep veins are covered in connective tissue and muscle–they all work together to send blood to your heart. Specifically, blood travels from your superficial veins to those that are deeper and then to the heart.
Signs and Symptoms
It’s relatively easy to identify someone who struggles with varicose veins. Not only do they bulge beneath the skin, but they also tend to feel rope-like. They may also appear to be blue in color. You may notice that your legs ache or feel itchy and weighted. And it may seem like the more you stand, the more noticeable these particular symptoms become. It may even be painful for you to stand and you may experience discomfort while trying to sleep. This condition is especially bothersome for women who are menstruating or pregnant.
This isn’t to say that everyone experiences this condition in the same way. There are also cases in which people have little to no symptoms. They may only be a problem cosmetically. There may be blood clots in the superficial veins. These are usually easy to detect and are not particularly harmful. No matter the severity of the symptom, it’s always suggested that you see a doctor as these areas can sometimes become infected.
Causes of Varicose Veins
There are several theories as to why varicose veins occur. However, most suggest that they’re the result of a damaged or defective valve within the veins. You see, the valves in your veins are responsible for preventing backward blood flow. They keep it moving in the right direction so that it can successfully reach your heart.
Though it’s not exactly clear what causes the valves to stop working properly, there’s evidence that this issue is inherited and that there are some individuals who simply have too few valves. And some are born with vein wall abnormalities which make the valves weak. When the valves are weak they may separate and start to leak so whenever the person stands up the blood flow reverses and begins to travel down the veins that are superficial instead of traveling up to the heart.
Subsequently, when the muscles around your deep veins start to contract, these veins start to empty which causes a pressure build-up. This leads to even more blood flowing in the opposite direction and into your superficial veins. Specifically, they flow down into the faulty valves in your perforator veins. The pressure builds up even more and it eventually leads to varicosities or varicose veins.
There are several things that can make varicose veins worse. For instance, if you’re pregnant then your blood volume is going to increase. Not only that but you’ll also experience more pressure on your legs due to the extra weight you’re carrying. Progesterone and estrogen, which are hormones that have a relaxation effect, may also have a negative effect on your vein walls and cause you to develop this condition.
Other causes include prolonged standing, obesity, leg trauma that interrupts regular blood flow, and aging. You can also suffer from varicose veins if you strain. This includes the straining that comes with chronic constipation, a chronic cough in which force is put on the legs, and urinary retention that develops as a result of an enlarged prostate.
Varicose Veins Prevention
While varicose veins may be a genetic issue for some people, there are those who can avoid it altogether. Specifically, they need to practice prevention. For instance, one of the best ways to avoid this condition is through exercise. It’s important that you develop a regular exercise routine. This way, you can ensure that your leg muscles remain toned and that your blood is always flowing properly.
You should also make sure that you’re constantly monitoring your weight. The more weight you carry, the more pressure you put on the veins in your feet and legs. So pay attention to your diet and eat foods that are natural and unprocessed.
Another great way to ensure that you don’t develop varicose veins is to wear clothing that fits properly. That is, you need to avoid wearing anything that’s too tight. It’s important that you don’t constrict the blood flow to areas such as your legs, waste, or groin. You should also be careful about your footwear. While high feels are trendy and fashionable if you wear them for long periods of time they can cause circulation issues. It’s better to wear shoes that are flat or that feature mid to low heels as this can improve the circulation and muscle tone in your calves.
You should also avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. Too much of either can restrict blood flow. If your job requires you to stand all day then you should wear support hose. If your job requires you to sit for most of the day it’s a good idea to get up and stretch your legs every so often so that there isn’t a build-up of pressure and there’s enough circulation.
It’s suggested that smokers are extremely susceptible to experiencing varicose veins. So if you’re interested in varicose veins prevention you should definitely quit smoking. This will ensure that the blood can circulate properly.
Finally, if you’re pregnant try sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your back causes a pressure buildup in your pelvis. When you sleep on your left side it can help to improve blood flow.
Varicose Vein Treatments
Depending on the types of symptoms you’re having, your doctor may suggest that you make a few lifestyle changes. You may be prescribed medication. You may even be given compression therapy. In most instances, the main goal is to relieve your symptoms, improve the overall appearance of your veins, and prevent any possible complications such as ulcers and bleeding.
While many cases are only minor, there are those that may require varicose veins surgery. Varicose veins surgery often involves the stripping of the veins. Some require vein ablation, which is a process that uses heat to damage and close the vein. There are several treatments that can make a huge difference in your quality of life. Here are a few treatments that Dr. Batra, a vein specialist, offers his patients.
Thermal Vein Closure
Dr. Batra offers Thermal vein closure. This treatment is a form of vein ablation. The best part about this particular procedure is that it’s not very invasive. It involves the use of a catheter that features a heating element. This device is connected to a radiofrequency generator. Before the device is even turned on the area surrounding your vein will be filled with an anesthetic. This is what will protect all of the surrounding tissue from the heat.
VenaSeal Vein Closure
VenaSeal is a treatment that involves the use of a dispenser gun. The gun will deliver a medical adhesive directly to your vein. VenaSeal actually seals the damaged vessel shut. This method ensures that all of the blood flow is rerouted to your healthier veins. During the VenaSeal procedure, the doctor will guide a catheter through your vein with the help of an ultrasound.
Sclerotherapy Spider Vein Injections
Sclerotherapy is another form of vein ablation. This procedure is best for treating reticular and spider veins. Sclerotherapy involves a sclerosant agent injection. And it causes a reaction that results in the vein becoming irritated and dehydrated. Eventually, the vein is eliminated altogether.
There are many specialists who choose to treat spider veins with laser therapy. However, Dr. Batra uses sclerotherapy because this form of vein ablation offers several key benefits. First, some individuals have large feeder veins. Their veins maybe even further beneath the skin. And this is a treatment that makes them easier to get to. This particular treatment can also be more comfortable for the patient as it tends to be much faster and is not as painful. Also, this form of vein ablation requires fewer sessions. Specifically, you don’t need more than two sessions in order to resolve the issue.
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is a treatment that’s performed with the help of an ultrasound. Specifically, it’s a technique that focuses on veins that are on the surface of the skin. This is another procedure that’s not very invasive. Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy closes and shrinks the veins. It can also eliminate them altogether.
Patients who elect to have ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy are injected with medication. The ultrasound machine helps to locate the vein in order to administer it. Many patients notice immediate relief after this procedure. The best thing about ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is that it tends to be safer than stripping the veins. It’s also more comfortable. Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy helps to improve the appearance of your veins and lower risk that tend to come with blood pooling.
Microphlebectomy is unlike the other treatments. Instead of using heat to damage and eliminate the vein it involves small incisions so that the varicose veins can be physically removed. In many instances, this method, as well as sclerotherapy, will be used to get rid of the smaller veins after the large veins have been closed. It can be used on the same day as the VenaSeal treatment.
The biggest concern when it comes to varicose veins is that they will eventually lead to a blood clot. Why is this so important? Well, blood clots have the ability to increase pressure and ultimately stop blood flow altogether. And it can further weaken the valves in your veins. If you’re someone who is struggling with varicose veins then it’s very important that you get the proper treatment. This is especially the case if you suspect that your deeper veins are affected. This can easily lead to things such as discoloration and inflammation. You may even notice that your calves are swelling and starting to develop ulcers. Any swelling or pain that is unexplained may be a blood clot.
Sure, in most cases, you’ll learn that your varicose veins are completely harmless, but sometimes there can be issues that need to be addressed. Whatever the case, you need to pay attention to your skin. There’s always a chance that minor trauma such as a tear when shaving or a small bump can be a problem if the vein directly beneath is irritated or relatively thin. If at any point you feel as if you’re having trouble breathing or are having chest pains then you should visit an emergency room. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Maybe you have questions about what improvements you can make in your health or the overall state of your veins. Perhaps you’ve recently received treatment and aren’t exactly satisfied with the results. You may even be interested in some of the procedures that we’ve just discussed. In these instances, it’s a good idea to good in touch with a professional. Luckily, the Dallas Vein Institute specializes in cases just like yours.