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What Are Varicose Veins?

A varicose vein is a condition caused by thin or damaged vein walls and valves. They may form whenever blood pressure increases inside your veins. Many reasons these occur can be pregnancy, constipation, a tumor, or being overweight and obese. The most common signs of varicose veins are in the legs, but sometimes varicose veins form in other parts of the body.

Different Types of Varicose Veins

Another type of varicose vein are hemorrhoids that originate in the rectum. Varicoceles occur in the testicles and may contribute to infertility in men. Varicose veins also appear in the esophagus, liver, or stomach. Other vein issues that may also affect smaller blood vessels are telangiectasia and spider veins. Pregnancy and childbirth, especially multiple births, may also raise a woman’s risk.

What Causes Them?

Veins contain one-way valves inside them that open and close to keep blood moving toward the heart. However, weakened or broken valves or walls in the veins can cause blood to pool and even flow backward. They are leading to what is known as reflux. The veins may grow in size and become distorted, resulting in varicose veins.

Who Is At Risk?

You may be at heightened risk for varicose veins if you are older, sit or stand for long periods, have an inactive lifestyle, are overweight or obese, or have a history of varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis or (VTE) in the family. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) refers to a type of blood clot that begins in a vein. After a heart attack or stroke, it is the third leading vascular diagnosis that affects 300,000 to 600,000 Americans every year.

There are two different types:

  • (DVT) Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deep vein, typically in the leg. DVT may often affect the arm or other veins in your body.
  • (PE) A pulmonary embolism happens when a DVT clot breaks free from a vein wall, moves to the lungs, and then blocks some or all of the blood supply. Blood clots beginning in the thigh are more likely to break off and travel to the lungs than blood clots formed in the lower leg or different parts of the body.

The Signs Of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins’ signs and symptoms include bulging, bluish veins, swelling; aching pain; a feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet, itching, skin color, and nighttime leg cramps. Varicose veins can restrict your daily routine. Your symptoms may worsen when you sit or are on your feet for an extended period. Lying down or putting your feet up can give you relief.

What Can I Do?

Please speak with one of our physicians. We will administer a physical examination to diagnose varicose veins and ask about your symptoms, family history, activity levels, and daily habits. Your physician may assess the health of your leg veins utilizing ultrasound or other imaging tests, including an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan.

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes depending on your symptoms, a procedure to eliminate or close varicose veins, compression therapy, or medicines. The treatment goals are to relieve symptoms, improve appearance, and prevent complications such as severe skin ulcers or sores, deep vein thrombosis, epidermal color changes, and bleeding. Bleeding from a varicose vein is an immediate medical emergency. Seek urgent help if this happens.

Treatment Options

Treatments for varicose veins can include lifestyle changes, medical procedures to eliminate or close them, compression therapy, or prescription medication. Depending on your indication signs, your doctor may recommend multiple treatments or no treatments at all. Varicose veins, even after treatments and procedures, may still form and require continuing treatments.

If you believe you have venous insufficiency or varicose veins, call (631) 654-3278 to discuss this concern with Dr. Saurin Patel. Dr. Patel will determine if testing is required and what treatments may be needed!