People often assume that varicose veins only strike the fairer sex, but the truth is that men develop these veins, as well. In fact, 11 million men in the United States between the ages of 40 and 80 have varicose veins, making the problem fairly common.
For men who have developed varicose veins, or who are at risk, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at the Vein Institute at Upper East Side Cardiology present the following information.
Why varicose veins develop
Varicose veins are often the result of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition in which the veins in your legs struggle to pump deoxygenated blood back up to your heart. With CVI, the small, one-way valves in your veins that close off as blood flows through begin to weaken and they don’t close all the way.
When this occurs, blood can spill backward and become trapped in a vein, forcing the engorged vessel toward the surface of your skin.
CVI is common, affecting an estimated 6 to 7 million people in the US and 1% to 17% of men worldwide.
Are varicose veins serious?
In many cases, varicose veins aren’t serious, but they can be problematic in terms of appearance. That said, plenty of men develop varicose veins that pose problems beyond aesthetics.
Symptoms of troublesome varicose veins include:
- Leg pain ( a dull ache)
- Leg cramping
- Sores or ulcers around the veins
- Skin discoloration
If you’re experiencing any of these symp[toms, we recommend that you come see us for a vein evaluation and treatment.
Addressing your risks for varicose veins
There are several factors that can place you more at risk for varicose veins and CVI, and they affect men as much as women, including:
- Having obesity
- Family history of CVI
- Standing for long periods
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Age (you’re more prone to CVI as you get older)
While there’s little that you can do about heredity and age, you can take steps to offset the other risks. For example, if you have obesity, losing weight can not only improve most areas of your health, it can also help to prevent varicose veins.
If you spend a good deal of time on your feet at work, you can wear compression socks to help with leg circulation and take frequent breaks to elevate your legs.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important that you move more to encourage better circulation of the blood in your legs. As well, moving can help strengthen your calf muscles, which help support the valves in your legs.
Treating varicose veins
If you have varicose veins that you want to eliminate, the good news is that there are many ways we can banish these problematic veins. At our Vein Institute, we offer:
- ClosureFast™ — a radiofrequency procedure that closes the vein
- VenaSeal™ — a special adhesive that blocks and destroys the vein
- Varithena® — an injectable foam that collapses the vein
We perform these varicose vein procedures on an outpatients basis and there’s little downtime afterward. Within a few weeks of treatment, your legs will be free and clear of uncomfortable varicose veins.
To figure out which varicose vein treatment is right for you, please call our New York City office on the Upper East Side at (212) 752-3464 to schedule a consultation.