1. Varicose veins are an older women problem only.
It’s actually a myth that varicose veins are only an older woman’s problem. People of any age (and both genders) can suffer from venous insufficiency and varicose veins. In fact, research shows that up to 60% of adults have them in some capacity.
2. Men are not at risk for developing varicose veins.
Also a myth. While women are four times more likely to be affected by varicose veins, men are still at risk for developing the disease as well as signs for CVI (chronic venous insufficiency). It is estimated that 43% of men will develop a venous disease by the time they reach their 60s, according to studies.
3. Varicose veins are cosmetic and don’t need to be treated.
Myth. The fact is that varicose veins, if left untreated, can eventually lead to CVI (a serious form of vein disease) in addition to venous leg ulcers and congestive heart failure. By not treating varicose veins, there is a risk that the connective tissue surrounding them will die, which can be extremely painful and cause more damage to the body.
4. Varicose vein treatment is not covered by insurance.
Myth. Due to potentially serious complications caused by varicose veins and CVI, many insurance companies cover certain varicose vein treatments. The best way to find out is to call Lam Vascular & Associates to verify your benefits.
5. Spider veins are the same thing as varicose veins.
No! Spider veins are NOT the same as varicose veins. Spider veins are named for their spider web-like bluish appearance underneath the surface of the skin. They typically do not bulge out, do not lead to CVI and are most commonly found on the legs.
Vein Therapy Options
Dr. Lam offers three basic types of treatment for varicose veins. He will meet with you to determine which course of treatment is best for you:
VENEFIT TARGETED ENDOVENOUS THERAPY
Venefit Targeted Endovenous Therapy is an innovative treatment that uses radiofrequency ablation. During this minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Lam will insert a catheter through a tiny incision and maneuver it to the damaged area of the vein. Radiofrequency waves will heat, collapse and seal the vein, permanently blocking the blood flow. The body normally reroutes the blood flow to adjacent healthy veins. This technique offers faster recovery, with less discomfort, bruising and complications.
Phlebectomy is a varicose vein removal procedure in which several small incisions are created in the skin through which the varicose vein is removed. In the majority of cases, stitches are not required. Phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in-office under light sedation with local anesthesia.
HIGH LIGATION AND STRIPPING OF VARICOSE VEINS
Vein ligation and stripping is a minor procedure to remove a damaged vein as well as prevent complications from vein damage. When multiple valves in a vein are heavily damaged, the vein is then removed, or stripped. An incision is made beneath the vein, a flexible device is threaded through the vein and to the first incision, which is used to grasp and remove the vein. During this procedure, one or more incisions are created over the damaged veins, and the vein is closed, or ligated.
Varicose Vein Prevention
So if everyone and anyone can get them, should we even bother trying to prevent them? In a word, yes. Varicose veins, although common, are not inevitable.
Getting plenty of exercise is the best way to ward off varicose veins. Exercise helps keep your weight under control and your leg muscles toned, so your blood will flow more freely. If your job keeps you on your feet (nurses, teachers), stretch your leg muscles often to increase circulation.
If you have varicose veins and are ready to take the next step in doing something about them, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lam today. We’re here to help!
The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.