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MYTH – Vein Therapy is for Older Women Only

When I was a kid, I thought my grandma’s varicose veins were so cool. I traced them with my finger and thought the name for them was “very close” veins…I guess because they were very close to the surface of her skin.

Yes, she was over the age of 60 and yes, she was a woman. She definitely fit the stereotype. But did you know? 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 percent of adults have them. But before we dive into who is at risk and why, let’s define what varicose veins are and what causes them.

What are Varicose Veins?

As with all of our bodily systems as we age, our veins and their valves just don’t perform as well as they once did. So what exactly happens when a vein is not performing as well as it should? The vein’s valves start to let blood flow backwards and it can back up into the vein.

So Who Gets Them?

Although this more commonly occurs in the aging population, people of all ages can develop varicose veins; even an otherwise healthy young person who exercises regularly; even world-class athletes (especially those who put heavy strains on their legs for long periods such as weightlifters, runners, skiers and cyclists).

Another younger-aged group who is at risk for developing varicose veins is pregnant women. The hormonal fluctuations that occur naturally during pregnancy (especially increased progesterone) can make the blood vessel walls relax as well as cause an increase in total blood volume. Baby weight gain also plays a role in causing greater stress on the legs.   

Older people, athletes, pregnant women, individuals who are obese; even regular folks. Everyone is susceptible to developing varicose veins.  

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 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.

      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 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.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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