Varicose veins are unsightly and cause pain and discomfort in your legs, which may interfere with your day-to-day activities. Regular exercise may temporarily alleviate your pain and swelling, but if you are struggling with varicose veins in Port Saint Lucie, your trusted doctor recommends a comprehensive diagnosis to help determine the right treatment plan.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins, mostly occurring on your legs and visible on your skin. They appear in the colors blue, red or purple. When not treated, varicose veins may cause signs and symptoms like:
- Tingling and itching in your legs
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Pain in your legs
- Heaviness and throbbing
- Color change in your skin area surrounding the veins
These symptoms may worsen when the weather is warm or when you stand for too long. You can, however, control swelling by walking around and keeping your leg raised. While varicose veins appear on your legs, they can also appear in other parts of your body, such as:
Certain factors put you at risk of developing varicose veins, for example:
Gender. You are most likely to develop varicose veins if you are a woman. Women produce hormones during pregnancy and menopause that cause the walls of veins to relax. Valves in the veins may leak and cause swelling.
Obesity. When you are overweight, your body exerts a lot of pressure on your veins which causes your veins to strain. The increase in pressure may cause the valves to release blood.
Pregnancy. During pregnancy, your veins pump a lot of blood into your body to facilitate the growth of the fetus. This makes veins strain and valves leak.
The production of hormones also causes constriction of your blood vessels, which leads to varicose veins.
When your uterus expands to accommodate the baby, a lot of pressure is exerted on veins in your pelvic area and causes varicose veins.
Occupation. You may develop varicose veins when your job requires you to stand for a long time because standing interferes with blood flow in your feet.
Age. As you grow older, your veins become less elastic, and valves lose strength. This puts you at risk of having varicose veins.
Genetics. Your chances of developing varicose veins are higher if an immediate family member, like a parent, has varicose veins.
Treatment and diagnosis for varicose veins
For diagnosis, your doctor at TLC Medical Group Inc will take a close look at your legs while you stand.
Your vascular specialist may ask you to describe the pain and if the varicose veins worsen in certain situations, like during your menstrual cycle if you are a woman.
There are different types of treatment that your doctor may use to manage your veins, including:
Compression stockings. These stockings exert pressure on your legs, improving blood circulation and offer relief from pain and discomfort.
Radiofrequency ablation. Your doctor will apply heat on the wall of varicose veins using radiofrequency energy. This treatment method closes the varicose veins causing blood to redirect into healthy veins.
Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. During this treatment, your specialist will inject foam in your veins which will cause the varicose veins to disappear after a few weeks.
Litigation and stripping. Your doctor may recommend this surgical procedure which involves removing the affected veins.
Endovenous laser treatment. The treatment involves using an ultrasound to position a catheter on your varicose vein correctly. The laser emits heat and seals the vein.
Varicose veins can worsen with time and cause venous ulcers. Book an appointment with your doctor at TLC Medical Group Inc for varicose vein treatment and enjoy a pain-free experience.