What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins affect between 20-25 million Americans. This condition develops when you experience enlarged, rope-like veins just beneath the skin of your legs.
Your veins have one-way valves to stop blood from flowing backward. When you have a varicose vein, this valve becomes damaged or diseased, so blood can flow back and pool in your legs. As blood collects in the area, the walls in your veins weaken and swell, enlarging and becoming varicose veins.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Varicose veins are usually not life-threatening, but they can be painful and unattractive. They can also lead to other leg symptoms, including:
- Burning, throbbing, or tingling
- Heaviness and dull achiness
- Fatigue, muscle soreness, cramping, or swelling
- Pain that worsens with extended sitting or standing and improves when lying down
- Restless leg syndrome
Varicose veins can also cause ulcerations or skin discoloration near your ankle.
What causes varicose veins?
Your chances of having varicose veins increase with age, especially once you’re over 30. Additional factors that increase your risk of varicose veins include:
- Family history
- Heavy lifting
- Being overweight or obese
You also have higher chances of having varicose veins if you spend extended periods sitting or standing.
How are varicose veins treated?
Dr. Doe and his experienced team of interventional radiologists offer several types of varicose vein treatments, including VenaSeal™ and radiofrequency ablation.
VenaSeal is a fast treatment that works by sealing your affected vein with a special medical adhesive. This approach takes between 20-30 minutes and doesn’t require sedation or the use of compression stockings after treatment. It also offers cosmetic results quickly and you can return to normal activities the next day.
Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a common treatment for varicose veins. It uses ultrasound imaging to guide a small, flexible catheter into your varicose vein so your Alate Health provider can deliver laser energy to treat the area. RFA takes approximately 20 minutes and uses twilight sedation — an option most other vein centers don’t offer — to ensure your treatment is pleasant and comfortable with a quicker recovery time.
After having radiofrequency ablation, you can resume regular activity the next day.