Although varicose veins can affect any vein in your body, they mainly develop in legs. Varicose veins tend to be large and twisted veins with a blue or purple color. Located right under the skin surface, varicose veins become more visible when the patient is standing up and hide when they are lying down. While these can be hereditary, they can also develop due to excessive leg strain caused by obesity, pregnancy and prolonged time standing or sitting when working. Finding a reliable varicose vein doctor San Diego is crucial to getting relief from varicose veins.
There are some small steps you can take to slow the worsening of your varicose and spider veins. For instance, you could begin wearing compression stockings to ease your pain and swelling as well as elevating your legs for the same reasons. Additionally, you should walk as much as possible as it is the best form of exercise when you have varicose veins to keep the blood flowing. These steps may slow the development of varicose veins, but they will not treat the underlying problem, so if you have any of the symptoms of varicose veins it is best to get in touch with a reputable vein doctor San Diego and make an appointment for evaluation.
What causes your varicosities?
To figure out the exact cause of your problematic veins, it is best to talk with a vein doctor Manhattan area. He or she will diagnose your abnormal leg veins and discover why they are forming. Usually the main cause of varicose veins are non-functioning valves inside of the veins. These one-way valves play a crucial role in helping the veins return blood to the heart from the legs. They open to let the blood pass and close fully to prevent it from flowing backward and pooling in a vein. When the valves have become damaged for any reason, they don’t close fully anymore and this allows the blood to flow backwards and gather in the veins. This can lead to a number of symptoms such as leg swelling, heaviness, tiredness, and pain. The overall disease is a condition called venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease and it is the main cause of varicose veins and spider veins. The valves cannot fix themselves on their own, so venous insufficiency will only get worse with time. For that reason, we highly advise you to seek the help of a varicose vein doctor San Diego as soon as you notice any symptoms.
There are certain factors that can provoke venous insufficiency: aging, pregnancy, obesity, gender, genetics and leg strain. While some of these factors can be avoided, there is nothing you can do about many of them. So it is better to meet a vein doctor San Diego if you have leg pain, swelling, heaviness, tiredness, or notice visible veins. Many patients aren’t even aware that they have a disease which can be treated! They think that leg pain and tiredness is a side effect of aging, when actually many people have venous reflux disease and feel much more energetic and pain-free after our treatments!
Are there issues related to varicose veins?
Varicose veins can take years to develop and you may think that as long as you don’t have any serious symptoms that you don’t need to get them evaluated by a vein doctor San Diego. However, even if your varicosities are small or you symptoms are minor, seeking medical assistance is recommended. Otherwise, the underlying venous reflux disease continue worsening and eventually you may develop severe leg ulcers, bleeding from veins, varicose eczema, and blood clots. Venous leg ulcers can become so serious that they must be removed via surgery. Thrombophlebitis (vein swelling and inflammation due to blood clotting) can be incredibly painful and eczema can permanently change the color and texture of the skin on your legs. The cosmetic side effects of varicose veins and spider veins are much easier to treat the earlier the disease is caught and treated. By meeting with the best varicose vein doctor San Diego as soon as you notice bulging veins, you can avoid all of these complications. Early treatment at our San Diego clinic does not only improve the appearance of your legs but also gets rid of uncomfortable symptoms. Nearly all insurance plans will cover the initial visit to our vein doctors in San Diego so it is a good idea to call and make an appointment for evaluation.
Vein issues that are similar to varicose veins
There are several different vascular issues that you may encounter and can also be helped by a visit to our vein doctor San Diego. Spider veins are as common as varicose veins and are named after their small clustered appearance, similar to a spider’s web. Known as telangiectasias in medical terms, spider veins or thread veins are smaller blood vessels that form in clusters. Since they form mostly in areas exposed to the sun, it is not uncommon to have them on the face. However, when due to venous reflux disease, they are mostly seen on the thighs, calves and ankles.
They can appear red, blue, or purplish and can be large and quite unsightly. Telangiectasias can affect women during pregnancy, but they are also common in those who have a family history and they can signal the beginning of worsening venous reflux disease. For this reasons, it is necessary to see a vein doctor San Diego when you notice them to determine if the spider veins are related to valve malfunction in your veins as this problem will only get worse with time. Most often, with appropriate treatment, the spider veins will fade as long as the vein disease is caught and treated early.
Another varicose vein related problem is varicoles. While these are less common, they do affect some men. They grow in the scrotum—the skin over the testicles and they should be taken as seriously as bulging leg veins as they can signal the same underlying venous reflux condition. Reticular veins are almost similar to spider veins in appearance, although they are flatter and have a deeper blue tinge. These form mainly behind the knees and should be removed by the top varicose vein doctor San Diego area.
Signs that you need to see a vein doctor Manhattan area?
If you want to know if you have varicose veins that should be treated immediately, there are some signs to look for. These symptoms below indicate that you might have venous insufficiency and that it needs to be addressed before it worsens.
- Large, swollen veins under the skin surface. They become more prominent when the patient is standing up.
- Ankle or leg swelling
- Painful or achy legs
- Leg heaviness
- Cramps in the legs at night.
- Itching on the lower leg and ankles area. If your varicose veins go untreated, the itch might worsen and the skin may become rough and flaky.
- Skin discoloration where varicose veins and spider veins have formed.
Even if you aren’t having severe varicose veins symptoms, it doesn’t mean that your bulging veins are not dangerous. If you see large and swollen veins, it is clear that you need the assistance of a varicose vein doctor San Diego area.
What happens during diagnosis?
Your varicose vein doctor San Diego will want to perform a physical exam as well as an ultrasound. The physical exam will allow the doctor to evaluate your varicose veins while you are in a standing position or when seated with your legs dangling. As well as observing and touching your veins, the specialist will ask questions about the symptoms you have been having. In addition to the physical exam, your vein doctor San Diego will likely want to carry out a painless Doppler ultrasound test that will examine the blood flow in the veins to evaluate the function of the valves as well as check for any blood clots.
A Doppler ultrasound is a test using sound waves to generate images of the vein structures. The ultrasound is done with a simple handheld device called a transducer. It is passed over the area with abnormal leg veins and then a computer is used to convert the sound waves into an image of blood flow. In addition to the Doppler ultrasound, a vein doctor San Diego can carry out another sort of test called an angiogram. This test may help him or her study the patient’s venous blood flow in detail. During an angiogram, a certain sort of dye is injected into the veins and it maps your veins on X-rays. It is usually preferred to start with the Doppler ultrasound test as it is completely non-invasive, quick, and pain free. If there is venous reflux disease or varicose veins, the ultrasound will show them and the varicose vein doctor San Diego will determine what the appropriate treatment plan should be.
Treating varicose veins
Once the varicose vein doctor San Diego diagnoses your venous disease, he or she will determine how to best treat you. The vast majority of patients should begin treatment immediately for the best cosmetic results as well as fastest symptom relief. Our vein doctors in San Diego may want to have you wear compression stockings for a few weeks while monitoring your improvement. When it comes to treating varicosities, our vein doctors San Diego, including Dr.Carly Guthrie and Dr. Billy Schoenfeld, will work with you to select the best course of treatment for your individual medical history and current symptoms. Some of the treatments you may talk about are outlined below.
First, if you have medium to large varicose veins, the vein doctor San Diego might recommend Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), sclerotherapy, or a combination of both. With RFA, a device that produces heat is used to heat up and destroy the damaged veins. This is a minimally invasive procedure as it only requires the varicose vein doctor San Diego to make one tiny incision. Then he or she will insert a thin object (catheter) into the vein that is being treated and then the tip of the catheter releases radio wave energy. This heat energy will heat the vein and the vein will collapse and turn into a fibrous tissue that disappears on its own after several weeks. RFA is the most successful minimally-invasive procedure for treating venous reflux disease and has very few side effects. You do not feel the heat as the doctor will inject local anesthetic or numbing medicine in the area to prevent any discomfort. Except for a mild tingling sensation and small pinprick with the injections there should not be much discomfort.
The second treatment is called sclerotherapy. In sclerotherapy, the vein specialist injects the area being treated with a small amount of liquid or foam chemical that makes the damaged vein collapse and seal off. As it is done with an incredibly tiny needle, sclerotherapy is also a minimally invasive varicose vein treatment technique and is virtually painless. When it is done via foam, it can treat large, swollen veins effectively as well as smaller spider veins. If there are a large number of varicose veins or if the area affected by spider veins is large it can sometimes take more than one treatment session.
Neither RFA nor sclerotherapy cause downtime as far as getting back to work or resuming your activities of daily life. We encourage you to walk after the procedure and resume all of your normal activities. There should be minimal to no pain after the procedures. If you select a great varicose vein doctor San Diego, he or she will ensure success in treating your venous disease.
In the rare case that your varicose veins are very large and swollen and are not responding to the above-mentioned treatment techniques, your varicose vein doctor San Diego might consider either phlebectomy or ligation and vein stripping surgery. Phlebectomy entails numbing the skin with a local anesthetic drug and then making small incisions in the skin. The damaged veins are then pulled out through the cuts. The cuts are tiny and do not have to be stitched closed. Phlebectomy is a small surgery that takes a short time but is less preferable to RFA and sclerotherapy as it is more invasive and can be more painful.
Ligation and vein stripping is a relatively major surgery that will seldom be recommended. It used to be the typical way to remove veins surgically in the past, but with newer less invasive treatment techniques, vein stripping is a rare pick by any vein doctor San Diego. General anesthesia is offered prior to this form of surgery and this means that the patient must be unconscious when the veins are being tied off and removed. This results in a longer recovery time and possibly even a hospital stay. If you have severe venous ulcers, these may need to be treated via surgery. The best way to avoid surgery and a long, complex recovery is to ensure your vein disease is diagnosed and treated early, with the minimally-invasive techniques. Our vein doctors San Diego can help evaluate your vein disease and guide you to the correct treatment for your individual situation.
Varicose veins should be treated as soon as they form. This will prevent the disease from progressing into serious complications like venous eczema, deep vein thrombosis, bleeding, and ulcers, among others. It is prudent to deal only with the best vein doctor San Diego like Dr. Billy Schoenfeld as he has years of experience in vascular medicine. Please give us a call today to schedule your initial consultation!