Heredity is one of the main risk factors for developing varicose veins:
- If you have one parent with varicose veins, then you have a 50% chance of also having them.
- If you have both parents with varicose veins, then you have an 80% chance of also having them.
- If you have parents without varicose veins, then you still have a 20% chance of getting them.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose (from the Latin root “varix” meaning twisted) veins are swollen twisted ropy veins, most often found on legs. These veins are superficial and no longer function properly due to failure of their internal valves causing the blood to flow much slower than normal.
This results in stagnation and back pressure also cause problems in surrounding tissues. Although, varicose veins are not necessarily painful, they may cause problems such as leg heaviness, pain, cramps, swelling, skin discoloration with or without itching, and skin ulcers.
What treatments are available?
We offer a vein clinic that can effectively treat varicose veins, reticular veins, and spider veins by using sclerotherapy. This involves injecting a sclerosing solution or foam into the affected vein, usually followed by compression with a compressive stocking, causing the treated vessels to collapse and to scar up, becoming invisible.
Smaller vessels can be treated with laser transcutaneously.
Larger vessels can be treated with ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. Other options include surgety, endovascular laser or radiofrequency ablation.
Treatment relieves symptoms of varicose veins, such as pain and swelling, improves appearance (vessels become invisible), and prevents complications such as skin deterioration and ulceration.
- 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.
- What causes varicose veins?
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.
- Poor nutrition.
- Conditions causing increase in venous pressure in the legs.
- Being overweight.
- Standing for long periods of time.
- Clot within the deep venous system.
- Pelvic tumors.
- 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?
While it’s too late for you to change your ancestors, there are still some things you can do to decrease your chances of developing varicose veins, and if you already have varicose veins there are still things you can do to decrease your symptoms and to slow down progression of your condition:
- Lose weight – 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.
Book your free consultation at Medical Spa Club, today!
Book a free consultation today. (Varicose vein assessments require a Doctor’s Referral) Call us at 604-284-5501 if you have any questions. Our friendly trained staff will help you every step of the way.