Varicose veins are extremely common among adults. They are estimated to affect women more than men. Additionally, about one in four adult persons in the U.S live with varicose veins. They tend to be large, swollen leg veins with a twisted shape. Furthermore, varicose veins can be blue or dark purplish and can be symptomatic or asymptomatic. They are best treated by the most renowned vein doctor New Jersey area. If you are older, pregnant or obese, you can expect to develop varicose veins.
Some men and women are also genetically prone to this vascular problem while others develop it due to the nature of the work they do. So, if your risk is higher, it would be better to start wearing compression stockings, elevating your feet, taking frequent breaks at work and exercising your legs. And if you already have strange symptoms in legs, including cramping pain, it will be advisable to meet your first vascular doctor NJ.
Varicose veins – What are they and why do they form?
Varicose veins or varicosities are abnormal leg veins. They are easily identified when the victim is standing up than when they are lying down. These veins enlarge when the one-way valves within them fail to work. Valves are designed to open in order to let deoxygenated blood pass and then close to stop it from flowing backward. If these are weakened by aging, injury or another cause, they can fail to close fully, letting some of the blood to leak and flow backward. This blood then gathers in the vein, putting its wall under pressure. Gradually the vein will succumb to excessive pressure and begin to swell and enlarge. At this point, the vein will become varicose and may require the attention of a vascular doctor NJ. In severe situations, varicose veins can rapture or turn into varicose ulcers that affect mostly the lower leg area.
Knowing you have varicose veins
Varicose veins can occur with or without symptoms and in both cases you need to see a good vascular doctor NJ. When they have no symptoms (asymptomatic), they just bulge and become visible on the skin surface. On the other hand, varicosities that show symptoms may cause your legs to hurt. As well, they can cause:
- Heaviness in legs particularly when you finish exercising or go to sleep
- Bleeding from the affected area due to a small injury
- Veins may appear swollen, lumpy and twisted
- Ankles may swell especially after a long day at work
- Skin tightening, shrinking and hardening (lipodermatosclerosis) may happen due to fat loss under the skin surface. The area right above the ankles is largely affected by this varicose veins complication.
- Statis dermatitis, also called venous eczema, might result. It causes the affected area of the skin to dry up, redden and develop an itch.
- Leg cramps can be experienced when one stands up abruptly
- Restless legs syndrome is largely experienced by a big number of people with varicose veins.
- The skin near the varicose veins may appear stained. It may appear blue or brownish.
- Some people might notice uneven white patches that appear like tiny scars. These are called atrophie blanche and mostly develops at the ankles area.
- Spider veins might be noted in the affected leg as well. Also called thread veins, these are smaller versions of varicose veins that look like blood capillaries. They can itch, hurt and cause cramping leg pain at night.
Some of the symptoms we have listed above are only noted when varicose veins are left untreated for too long. It would be wise to have them treated early with a less invasive method like sclerotherapy than wait to treat them later using surgery. If you notice that your varicose veins are bleeding or see some venous leg ulcers, yours is a critical case. Treatment can be offered, yes, but it will be much harder and expensive. Besides these two complications, varicose veins are known to cause thrombophlebitis.
This refers to blood clots in the vein that make it inflamed and painful. Thrombophlebitis, lipodermatosclerosis, statis dermatitis, venous ulcers and bleeding from a vein are serious complications that should be addressed by the top vascular doctor NJ. If your varicose veins have become this severe, then the condition causing them (venous insufficiency) has become chronic and tougher to treat. Chronic venous insufficiency can only be avoided by seeking medical help from a vein doctor New Jersey the earliest you can. It is a great way to ensure that you are treated via stress-free methods like sclerotherapy, laser ablation or RFA.
What to expect during diagnosis
Once you make a choice to visit a vein doctor, he or she will want to find out if you really have varicose veins and how severe they are right now. They will examine the affected veins by observing them when you stand up or sit down while dangling your legs. Moreover, the doctor will carry out medical tests to find out whether you have an underlying vascular condition or a different problem.
Apart from the physical examination, a great vascular doctor NJ will take your medical history and might ask about the following:
- A recent disease you have had or perhaps a medical condition you continuously treat with medicines
- Any drugs, prescribed or not, that you might be taking
- Any known allergies
- Any treatments you have received due to varicose veins and how effective they turned out.
An ultrasound test is often carried out to help the vascular doctor NJ see the insides of your veins. It does not cause pain or discomfort as it uses sound waves to generate images of the structures within the vein. If sclerotherapy is selected, it will be necessary to avoid shaving your legs or applying lotion right before the appointment. If possible, don loose and shorter garments to increase your level of comfort and to let your doctor access your veins easily.
Treatment options – Describing sclerotherapy
While the technique is traditionally used to treat smaller spider veins, doctors are now using it to cure bigger varicose veins. The technique they are using is called foam sclerotherapy. Generally, the technique entails an injection into the affected vein where a particular solution (sclerosant or sclerosing agent) is deposited. The sclerosant makes the vein to turn into a scar tissue, causing the blood that used to flow through it to flow via a much healthier vein.
The sealed and collapsed vein will later on get reabsorbed by your own body tissue and disappear from the skin surface. Depending on how serious your varicose veins are you might require more than one sclerotherapy session. Luckily, the treatment does not hurt as it is done with some of the tiniest needles existing now. One of the many reasons why people choose this technique is the simple fact that it is an effective way of eliminating varicosities and spider veins.
It is also more affordable than other treatments and is still able to reduce or remove symptoms of varicose veins such as pain, burning, swelling and cramps. Sclerotherapy is seen as one of the safest treatments for abnormal leg veins and it causes just mild side effects:
- Raised red areas
- Tiny skin sores
- Many tiny red blood vessels
- Darker skin tone in the form of spots or lines
The above symptoms can go away without the need to meet your vascular doctor NJ once again. However, sclerotherapy might cause severe complications that should not be overlooked. These are:
- Blood clots – Unless a blood clot that has formed in the treated vein travels to a deep vein where it could also move to the lung and block an artery, it may not be dangerous. But you can still see your vascular doctor NJ to have it drained to avoid deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
- Inflammation – The injection site might swell and become warmer and uncomfortable. In such a case, aspirin may be prescribed or suggested by your doctor.
- Allergy – If your body reacts badly to a sclerotherapy solution, you should seek medical help right away.
- Tiny air bubbles in bloodstream – While these bubbles can occur without symptoms, talk to a vascular doctor if you experience visual interruption, headache, dizziness and/or nausea. These signs are likely to disappear on their own, yes, but we suggest that you call your specialist just to be on the safer side.
Sclerotherapy can be so effective if it is performed by the right vascular doctor NJ. Thus, be careful when searching and selecting the best vein specialist online or offline. Make sure that they understand how modern foam sclerotherapy is done to get rid of large and swollen varicose veins. Faisal Siddiqi makes one of the best vein doctors in the U.S, so check him out. As this is a doctor’s office procedure, you will not be admitted at all and local anesthesia will not be given. In fact, the procedure will be over in about an hour and you will be ready to leave.
You might come back for other sessions, however. All they will ask you to do is to lie on your back while keeping your legs elevated. The doctor will then clean the areas to be treated with alcohol and start injecting them with a sclerosing agent. Once the treatment is over, your vascular doctor NJ will then apply compression pads to the injected areas to prevent blood from reaching them.
What to do after sclerotherapy
One thing you can do right away is to get up and walk. In fact, most doctors encourage their patients to stay active after the procedure to boost healing and prevent the development of blood clots. Another way to boost the final result is to wear compression stockings for two weeks. By maintaining compression, you will ensure that all the treated veins disappear successfully. While you can resume strenuous work the same day, it is advisable to take a rest and begin simple chores the following day.
You can even have somebody drive you back home. For two weeks, make sure you are doing simple activities rather than strenuous jobs. Sun exposure is discouraged too as it can worsen the inflammation triggered by injections and cause dark spots on the skin. If the treated veins were smaller varicose veins or spider veins, total healing would be received in about three to six weeks. Larger varicosities can heal in about three to four months. Any other session that will be offered will be arranged six weeks after the first one.
Since about sixty to eighty percent of patients receive excellent results, you are likely to as well if you pick a good vein clinic and doctor. Finally, let your vascular doctor NJ know of any serious side effect you might experience.
What if sclerotherapy is not viable?
If swollen varicose veins are too serious, your vein doctor New Jersey might pick a different treatment approach. In serious cases, the most commonly preferred method is radio frequency ablation or RFA. It uses radiowaves energy to heat up and close a vein completely. It is selected for treating big varicose veins and it is among the few minimally invasive treatment approaches available. It has fewer complications too and produces great final results. When you have venous leg ulcers, a vascular doctor NJ might suggest a surgical approach to heal them.
So, if you are struggling with varicose veins, the best way to know how to eliminate them is to meet a vein specialist first. He or she will examine you and determine whether a vein injection approach can be helpful. If not, they might combine it with another technique or leave it altogether. For instance, surgery might be suggested when one has non-healing venous ulcers or large, swollen and twisted varicose veins that don’t respond to a less invasive treatment like RFA.
Varicose veins should be treated even when they exist without hurting. That’s because their presence indicates a serious and progressive vein disease called venous insufficiency or venous reflux disease. If they are treated early, the disease can be controlled and chronic complications can be avoided.