More than likely someone in your family has varicose veins and you may be worried that you will develop them or perhaps you already have them. While some varicose veins can be painful, a good portion of people experience no discomfort whatsoever except for the fact that they can be unsightly. Only a small percentage of the population experiences this problem and though it has been known to afflict people in the same family, there is no evidence that it is something that you can inherit or pass along to your children.
Understanding varicose veins
These kinds of veins can appear in clusters, known as spider veins, or have the appearance of a spider’s web, and the word itself means twisted. Often the veins are twisted together but they can also be expanded or stretched looking in appearance, bulging outward from the skin on the calf of the leg. Sometimes people may think they have varicose veins if they can see the blue lines in their calves but this can be due to thin or transparent skin which is common in people who are very pale. These veins are not varicose, but simply visible and there is no need to be concerned.
As you might expect, varicose veins are related to your circulatory system. What happens is that the valves in your legs, which regulate blood flow, stop working the way they should and this causes the blood to back up in the veins. The backup results in the blood flowing the opposite way and veins expand in reaction to the issue. This condition may also be related to your lifestyle and women are more likely to get varicose veins than men are.
These are some of the factors that have been linked to this health issue.
- Extended standing
- Growing older
There are a number of ways in which you can deal with varicose veins and you should discuss them with your doctor to determine which treatment is the right method for you. The severity of the problem will be a factor in what your doctor recommends and it is a good idea to examine all of the options open to you before making a decision.
Surgery is often suggested for people who are having a lot of pain and discomfort from their swollen veins and there are a few different surgical procedures that are available. If your veins are not too bad, you can opt for laser surgery which causes the veins to slowly disappear from physical view. Catheters can be used to administer a heating technique designed to encourage blood flow from the affected vein to one that is in better shape. The last resort is a physical removal of the veins and this is usually accomplished by making a small hole in the skin and pulling the vein out.
For small varicose veins, doctors use a saline solution, injecting it into the vein, effectively killing the vein, which forces the blood to find another pathway. This is done over a period of time and has been shown to be highly effective. You could also use compression hosiery to force the swelling down and this helps many people who do not want to go with a surgical procedure.
Lawrence Reaves writes for Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA), a surgical group specializing in vascular surgery. For more information on Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates and the services they offer, go here.