VARICOSE VEINS... WHAT ARE THEY?
If you’ve noticed the appearance of enlarged and twisted veins just under the surface of your skin, you have varicose veins. This common condition can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. However, varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic concern; they can also indicate a medical problem.
WHAT CAUSES THEM?
Our veins do not have any kind of pumping mechanism to move blood back to the heart. Instead, blood is propelled towards the heart when our muscles contract. So when you're moving your arms or legs, you're helping with blood flow... which, in a healthy person, only goes one way. Blood is prevented from flowing backward with a series of valves all along the your veins. When there is a problem with those valves and they don't close properly, you have blood flowing backward, causing an accumulation of blood along that dysfunctional part of the vein, creating an enlarged vein. That's a varicose vein. And most often, varicose veins appear in the legs.
There are numerous risk factors that can increase your chances of developing this cosmetic problem. You are at an increased risk if a family member has varicose veins, if you are overweight or obese, or if you sit for long periods at a time. Pregnancy also significantly increases the risk.
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE VARICOSE VEINS?
The unwelcome appearance of varicose veins can have a significant effect on your lifestyle. They can be both a cosmetic issue, making you want to hide your legs, and a medical issue, which can lead to pain when standing, leg swelling, inflammation, discoloration, venous eczema, skin thickening, and ulceration. Your legs may feel heavy or achy, or they may feel unusually tired. Having varicose veins increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which a blood clot forms in the vein. If the blood clot breaks free, it can cause a life-threatening condition such as pulmonary embolism.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THEM?
Fortunately, varicose veins are easily treated at Meadows Surgical Arts. Traditionally, invasive surgery was required to strip the veins out of the body. Dr. Meadows is proud to offer Venefit Targeted Endovenous Therapy, a minimally-invasive surgery using the VNUS Closure® procedure. This involves inserting a small catheter through a single, small injection to seal the vein shut using radio frequency ablation, leaving the vein in place. Once the defective vein is sealed shut, blood flow in that area immediately diverts to healthy veins. The defective, closed vein becomes scar tissue and is eventually absorbed by the body. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis using local or regional anesthesia. Downtime is minimal, with patients usually returning to normal activities within a day.
Another effective treatment is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting medicine into the veins to make them shrink. This is a non-invasive procedure that can take as little as 10 minutes per session and usually involves minimal downtime.
We know you want to show off those legs! Call us today at (706) 335-3555 (Commerce) or (678) 541-0339 (Buford) to book your free consultation with Dr. Meadows, or purchase your varicose veins surgery ONLINE and combine your consultation visit with your pre-op visit... less time off from life, and more time enjoying the freedom to wear what you want, when you want.
Interested in something else? Check out a list of our current specials, or see our current specials in our online store.