A varicose vein is a swollen, enlarged, or otherwise deformed vein. They often are discolored leg spider veins but can be painful and result in swelling.
Varicose veins are most often located on the legs and feet. They are often blue or dark purple in color. More serious cases of varicose veins can cause discomfort, skin swelling/discoloration, and ulcers.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are the result of one-way valves of the veins not working properly due to prolonged dilatation. The valves in veins are designed to keep blood flowing towards the heart. When the veins become too dilated, the valves no longer work. Blood within these diseased, enlarged veins tends to flow in the opposite direction and, over time, pools in the most dependent part of the legs, resulting in the common look of varicose veins.
Risk factors for varicose veins include:
- Prolonged standing
- Prolonged sitting
- Family history/hereditary issues
- Weight gain
- Post-thrombotic syndrome
Symptoms of varicose veins
- Muscle cramps and pain especially at the end of the day and at night
- Swelling of the legs and ankles
- A feeling of heaviness and tiredness
- Burning sensation
Varicose Vein Treatment and Analysis
Varicose veins are often visible, so pinpointing where the veins are is often quite simple. To map the veins in more detail, we can use a test called the color duplex ultrasound scan to develop a map of the veins and determine blood flow. Once our Vein Clinic has mapped your veins in detail, we can determine the best way to treat them.
Our clinic specializes in Radiofrequency Ablation, Chemical Ablation, and Sclerotherapy. Treatments will be individually planned and specific to your needs by our physician.
Using ultrasound guidance for all types of procedures, the veins to be treated will be selected and marked. The entry site will be anesthetized with lidocaine and a catheter will be inserted through a small incision and directed to the most superior aspect of the vein to be treated. A solution with an anesthetic will be injected along the course of the vein. The catheter will be energized as the vein is treated. Once the vein is treated, the leg will be wrapped with a compression dressing and the compression hose will be placed. Every patient will walk out of the clinic as they walked in.