About one in four adults in the United States develops varicose veins, especially among the older population and women. While not necessarily a medical emergency, the appearance of varicose veins may pose more than just a cosmetic concern.
At Upper East Cardiology, we specialize in cardiovascular health, and we have dedicated part of our practice to problematic veins. At The Vein Institute, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and our team understand the potential complications that come with varicose veins and how to resolve the issue.
If you think that seeking our help for varicose veins is driven by vanity, we’re here to tell you that it’s also a great step toward better health.
Behind varicose veins
The veins in your legs are equipped with tiny, one-way valves that close off when your blood passes through, preventing it from spilling backward and pooling. These valves are incredibly hard-working as they have to fight both distance and gravity to circulate blood back up to your heart.
If these valves malfunction or weaken, it can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, which is what causes spider and varicose veins to form. More specifically, varicose veins are a direct result of blood pooling in your legs, which engorges your veins and forces them toward the surface of your skin.
While anyone can get varicose veins, age and gender play significant roles. First, as you age, the valves in your legs may simply weaken with time.
Second, women are more susceptible to varicose veins because their sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) influence the muscles that control blood circulation. Not to mention, women who are pregnant also run the risk of developing varicose veins, thanks to both hormones and the extra blood coursing through their bodies to support her pregnancy.
Varicose veins — cause for concern?
The appearance of varicose veins shouldn’t be met with alarm, but with measured concern, as these veins may be a sign of deeper trouble. While some people don’t have any symptoms with varicose veins, others experience:
- Odd sensations in the legs, such as burning or aching
- Skin rashes
- Color changes
- Open sores
This last symptom is very concerning, as ulcers that develop on the heels of varicose veins are often slow to heal, leaving you at a much higher risk for infection.
Even if your varicose veins aren’t symptomatic, their appearance does signal a problem with your veins. When you seek our help, we can prevent more varicose veins from forming by improving the health of the blood vessels in your legs.
Varicose veins can also lead to complications, such as superficial blood clots, burst veins, and the sores we highlighted earlier.
In other words, we recommend that you come see us at the first signs of varicose veins so we can assess your vascular health, prevent more problematic veins from forming, and remedy those that have already formed.
Treating varicose veins
At The Vein Institute, we treat varicose veins quickly and easily with:
- Radiofrequency ablation
- ClosureFast™ by Medtronic
- Interject Sclerotherapy Needle
- Varithena® (polidocanol) injectable foam
We can also recommend some lifestyle changes that help ward off varicose veins, such as quitting smoking, exercising more, and wearing compression socks.
If your legs have developed varicose veins, contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to schedule an appointment at The Vein Institute. Or, you can first start with our Vein Screening Survey by clicking here.