You can see them. You can feel, them. If left untreated, varicose veins worsen over time, and may lead to the formation of blood clots (thrombosis), inflammation of the vein (phlebitis), inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) and possibly ulceration. Iowa Vein Center is here to answer all your questions about varicose veins and offer the latest treatment methods to have you looking and feeling your best.
The physicians of Iowa Vein Center address the typical questions patients ask most often about varicose veins.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, weakened, dilated veins that have permanently lost their ability to carry blood from the legs back up to the heart against the force of gravity. As the blood falls back down the leg and pools due to gravity, the veins overfill giving them their typical unsightly bugling appearance. Varicose veins cause tried, heavy, aching, throbbing, swollen legs which are typically worse at the end of the day. Nighttime leg cramps and leg restlessness (sometimes called Restless Leg Syndrome) are also very common problems caused by varicose veins.
What causes varicose veins?
Heredity is the number one contributing factor causing varicose veins. A genetic tendency causes veins to weaken and wear out over time. The greater this genetic tendency the sooner it will happen. So regardless of treatment, if you have a strong hereditary predisposition, you will probably form new problems as time goes on. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, obesity, hormone-containing medications, standing and sitting for long periods and traumatic injury to the leg. In most cases, nothing can be done to prevent veins from wearing out, but if effective treatment is given early in the course of the disease, complications like phlebitis, blood clots and ulcerations can be prevented and symptoms relieved.
How are varicose veins treated?
The procedure or combination of procedures recommended is based upon the extent of your specific condition and your overall health and age. Physicians at Iowa Vein Center will recommend an ultrasound and/or doppler examination to assess the severity and extent of your vein disease, most of which may not be visible on the surface of the leg. With an accurate diagnosis of your veins Iowa Vein Center can determine which of the following treatments are appropriate.
Micro-Surgery and Catheter Occlusion
Ambulatory Phlebectomy (Micro-Extraction)