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Varicose Veins

AVLC Vein Center
Varicose veins are a very common problem, generally appearing as twisting, bulging cords on the legs. They occur when the valves in the superficial veins malfunction. Vein walls can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. This can allow blood to collect in the vein and become varicose. Varicose veins are one of the most common conditions of venous disease in the legs. According to the American Society for Vascular Surgery, they affect an estimated 40% of women and 25% of men. People who suffer from this condition tend to have a family history of varicose veins.
Varicose Vein Causes
Varicose veins are caused by malfunctioning valves inside the veins. When these valves fail or leak, the blood flows backward through the poorly functioning valve. Gravity causes the blood to pool in the veins and makes them look enlarged, twisted, or full and bulging. Important factors such as heredity, excess weight, and some professions requiring prolonged periods of standing or sitting may increase the risk of developing a chronic venous disease of the leg.
Varicose Vein Symptoms

Although they are often recognizable due to their unpleasant appearance, varicose veins can also occur deeper under your skin where you are not able to see them Patients often complain of heavy or tired legs, swelling in the lower leg or near the ankles, pain and tenderness upon touching the area of the vein, and a general sense of restlessness with the legs. Other side effects include itching, burning, swelling, cramping, restlessness, throbbing, and eventually leg ulcerations. These symptoms often worsen over time if left untreated, and can lead to more serious medical conditions, such as:
• Phlebitis – Inflammation of the vein
• Thrombosis – Blood clots form in the enlarged vein
• Venous Stasis Ulcers – Ulcers that form when proper drainage in the enlarged vein is not available.

Varicose Vein Risk Factors

Venous disease and varicose veins have a strong hereditary link. Often, many members of a family will have the condition, so ask your relatives if they have ever been treated.
Age
If you are 30 to 70, you are at an increased risk to develop varicose veins, with that risk increasing as you get older. The aging process will naturally diminish the elasticity of the vein wall, increasing the chances for blood to pool in a vein.
Gender
Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins, partially because of hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, as well as the increase in blood volume while developing a fetus. In addition, certain hormones can relax vein walls, increasing the likelihood of blood flowing away from the heart.
Standing for Long Periods
Like many of us, we spend a lot of time on our feet, whether working, taking care of our families and our house, or just simply living day to day. Being on your feet for extended periods of time makes it harder for the blood to flow up against gravity and back to your heart.
Weight/Activity Level
Your weight and activity levels can play a role in developing varicose veins. Being overweight puts additional stress on your body and pressure on your veins. Staying active helps to maintain optimal circulation.

Varicose Vein Treatment Options

Treatment options for varicose and spider veins will vary from person to person as no two cases are identical. The proper procedure will require determining the actual cause of the varicose or spider veins. While many individuals with varicose veins do not seek treatment or therapy, untreated varicose veins can lead to painful ulcers, bleeding, and more serious medical conditions. Know that your varicose veins can be treated in our office with safe, effective and generally painless procedures such as:
– VNUS Radiofrequency
– Traditional Sclerotherapy
– Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

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717-295-8346

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