Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common condition that typically affects women more often than men. These bulging, twisting veins are usually found on the lower leg and often protrude above the surface of the skin. While they can be primarily a cosmetic concern, they can also indicate an underlying venous condition and be accompanied by potentially uncomfortable symptoms. That is why it is a good idea to have varicose veins evaluated by a vascular doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating varicose veins.


Symptoms of Varicose Veins

The following symptoms often accompany varicose veins:

  • Heavy, aching legs
  • Leg cramping, especially at night
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Swelling of the lower limbs and ankles
  • Skin discoloration and thickening
  • Formation of open skin sore

These symptoms are a sign of an underlying condition known as venous insufficiency. When venous insufficiency, also known as venous reflux, is allowed to go unchecked, symptoms can worsen and become more challenging to treat. It is vital to have varicose veins evaluated as soon as possible to ensure treatment is the least invasive and the most effective.

varicose veins

Causes of Varicose Veins

The primary reason for varicose veins is venous insufficiency. Tiny valves inside veins keep blood moving in a single direction back to the heart. Over time, these valves can become damaged, particularly in the lower legs where the veins must work against gravity to get blood back up to the heart. As the valves wear out, blood begins to pool in those veins, leading to swelling of the vessels. The result is twisting networks of lines known as varicose veins.

  • Many factors can increase your risk of varicose veins:
  • Family history of venous conditions
  • Advancing age (by the age of 60, the majority of adults have varicose veins)
  • Gender (women are more likely to develop varicose veins)
  • Weight gain that adds pressure to your lower veins
  • Long periods of sitting or standing that impede healthy blood flow

The good news is that if you do develop varicose veins, many minimally-invasive treatment options are now available for eliminating them.


Varicose Vein Treatment

At Northwest Vascular & Vein, we offer the following treatment options for varicose veins:

Sclerotherapy – This injectable treatment uses a special sclerosing agent to irritate vein walls, causing them to seal together. The body and blood eliminate the vein, and blood is rerouted through healthy veins nearby. Sclerotherapy takes just a few minutes to complete, and patients may return to regular activities as soon as the procedure is over.

Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy – This procedure is used for larger veins below the surface of the skin. Ultrasound technology is used to locate deeper veins, allowing for precision without incisions or invasive surgery. Injections of a sclerosing foam agent allow for more efficient displacement of blood in the vessel so that larger veins can be treated.

EVLT – Endovenous laser therapy, also known as EVLT, is an innovative method for treating larger varicose veins without invasive surgical procedures. Fiber is inserted into the vein, which delivers laser heat that seals the vein closed. Blood can be rerouted, and the body eventually reabsorbs the treated vein. Most patients return to regular activities the same day as the procedure or the next day.

Varicose veins are a painful condition that can also be a serious concern. At Northwest Vascular & Vein, we offer a wide range of treatment options for varicose veins to eliminate unsightly, diseased veins with little discomfort or downtime. To learn more about your options in varicose vein treatment, contact Northwest Vascular & Vein today.