Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are distended twisted ropy veins, most often found on legs. The word “varicose” originated from a Latin root “varix” for twisted. They are veins belonging to the superficial venous network that no longer function properly due to failure of their internal valves. Thus, the blood flow in these veins are much slower than normal, resulting in stagnation and back-pressure, causing problems in surrounding tissues. Varicose veins are not necessarily painful but they may cause problems such as leg heaviness, pain, cramps, swelling, skin discoloration with or without itching, and skin ulcers.

The difference between varicose and spider veins are size and appearance. Imagine your venous system as a tree, where varicose veins would be a major branch, and spider veins would be the leaves.

 

What Can Be Done To Treat Varicose Veins

Sclerotherapy For Veins
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment used to treat varicose. The procedure involves the injection of a solution directly into the affected veins, causing them to shrink and eventually disappear. Newer variation on the technique is to create a foam using sclerosant solution and either CO2 gas or air, and to inject this foam. Foam sclerotherapy is more effective and uses less sclerosant solution. Learn more about Sclerotherapy here.

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Call us at 604-284-5501 for any questions or book online for a consultation with our doctor to discuss your needs and options. No obligation to proceed with any treatment or service – just information so you can decide later when you want some changes. We are all happy to assist you every step of the way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What causes this vein condition?

Varicose veins occur when valves that direct blood flow through them towards the heart fail to function properly. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Congenital absence of the valves.
  • Female sex – varicose veins are 2-3 times more frequent in women than in men.
  • Conditions causing weakening of the tissues forming valves and vein walls, causing vessel dilatation and valve prolapse.
  • Aging.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Conditions causing increase in venous pressure in the legs.
  • Being overweight.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Standing for long periods of time.
  • Clot within the deep venous system.
  • Pelvic tumors.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

The primary symptom of varicose veins is highly visible, misshapen veins, usually on the legs. You may also have pain, swelling, heaviness, and aches in the legs.  In some cases, you can have swelling, discoloration, or ulcers around your ankles, too.

How do I know if I have varicose veins?

Most often patients diagnose their own varicose veins. The presentation may range from spider veins and streaky reticular veins, to bulging and twisted large varixes. Further details of the condition can be investigated using ultrasound and x-ray investigation to determine the nature of the defect, and to ascertain that the deep venous system is functioning properly.

What can I do to prevent varicose veins?

If you already have these veins there are still things you can do to decrease your symptoms and to slow down progression of your condition:

  • Weight loss – this will decrease the extra pressure from the veins in your legs.
  • Exercise – walking will improve blood flow in your legs through the “muscle pump” action.
  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting – avoid situations where blood pools and stagnates in your legs.
  • Avoid high heels – lower heel shoes will make your calf muscles work more. Contractions of these muscles will massage your veins, facilitating flow of blood upwards toward the heart.
  • Elevate your legs – whenever possible, sit down and elevate your legs above your heart level, to drain blood from your legs towards the heart.