Varicose Veins: Why Do I Have Them?
Dr. Susan Fox, DO, RPVI, FSVM
Fox Vein & Laser Experts
We are asked this daily” says Dr Susan Fox, DO, RPVI, FSVM,DABVLM. Roughly 50% of women and 40% of men in the USA have varicose veins. These veins can cause the legs to feel heavy, achy, tired, restless and swollen. The veins can bulge, bleed and lead to skin problems like discolorations, eczema and ulcerations.
What causes people to get these large ropey blue cords or veins that the valves are not working correctly?
In the majority of cases, there is a family history of vein issues. If one of your parents has varicose veins, your risk of developing them is around 40% but if both of your parents have varices your risk goes up to over 90%. Pregnancy, professions where you are working on your feet for long periods of time, lack of exercise, hormones, leg injuries and obesity can all increase your risk of varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Sun damage can increase facial veins so wear that sunscreen.
What can I do if I develop varicose veins or venous insufficiency?
The days of vein stripping in the operating room with long recovery periods are largely a thing of the past. Most procedures are minimally invasive, performed in the office under local anesthetic. People can drive themselves to our office and return to normal activities immediately afterwards. Many of these treatments have been around for decades and have success rates above 95% like endovenous laser and radiofrequency ablation of the veins. These procedures involve placing a laser or radiofrequency device into the vein to heat it, seal it shut and divert the blood to better more competent veins. Other procedures can easily be done in the office to remove ropey varices like injecting a glue -like substance, foam sclerotherapy and micro-phlebectomies. For small veins, we can inject them with a liquid that damages the vein lining and closed them or use a superficial laser to reduce their appearance. Many of these treatments are performed under ultrasound guidance so that the exact vein causing the problem is the one being treated. Call today to have your varicose veins evaluated 954-965-4922.