Varicose veins are lumpy or twisted veins that often elevate on your skin. They may appear as dark purple or blue. Varicose may or may not cause symptoms. They develop on various body parts but mostly affect the legs. Common symptoms of Covington varicose veins include pain, itching, leg or ankle swelling, and a heavy feeling in your legs. Varicose veins can increase your risk of developing blood clots or circulation issues.
You are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins if you stand or sit in one position for a long period, are obese, have a family history of the condition, have an inactive lifestyle, or are pregnant. You may treat your varicose veins for cosmetic reasons or to alleviate symptoms. Below are common ways used to treat varicose veins.
Compression stockings or socks
Your doctor may recommend you wear special compression stockings or socks to help manage your varicose veins. These support stockings exact gentle pressure on your legs helping blood to flow more easily to your heart. They also help reduce swelling and pain and lower the risk of blood clots forming in your legs. Your doctor can prescribe the right socks for you or you can purchase them from drugstores.
Certain lifestyle changes can prevent varicose veins from developing or becoming worse. Obese or overweight individuals have higher chances of developing varicose veins. Losing and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent veins from forming or becoming worse. Exercise can help improve blood circulation and prevent blood from pooling in your legs. Also, avoid standing or sitting in one position for a prolonged period and elevate your legs while resting or sleeping.
Sclerotherapy involves your healthcare provider injecting a special chemical solution into the affected vein. The solution irritates the vein, making it stick together and preventing blood from flowing into the region. Blood flow diverts to neighboring healthy veins. Sclerotherapy causes the vein to shrink and fade over time. It helps minimize swelling. Your doctor may suggest you get several treatment sessions to obtain optimal results.
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT)
Endovenous laser therapy is a newer technique for treating varicose veins. It involves your provider making a small cut into the damaged vein and inserting a laser fiber. The laser applies heat directly to the vein, causing it to collapse. Endovenous laser therapy involves local anesthesia to prevent discomfort during the treatment. It may take several months or a year for the treated veins to vanish.
If lifestyle changes are ineffective, your varicose veins are causing severe pain or affecting your overall health, your doctor may suggest surgery. Vein ligation and stripping is the surgical technique used to treat varicose veins. It involves your surgeon making cuts in the skin around the affected region, incising the varicose vein, and removing it through the cuts.
Varicose veins are enlarged, lumpy and twisted veins that elevate on your skin. Your doctor can treat them through compression stockings, lifestyle changes, Sclerotherapy, endovenous laser therapy, or surgery. Schedule an appointment at Louisiana Heart and Vascular for varicose veins treatment to alleviate the heavy feeling in your legs.