Varicose Veins are large, ropey, and twisting blue vessels, which appear in the skin anywhere from the groin to the foot. The actual cause of varicose veins is inefficient, faulty vein valves. These valves don’t close properly, allowing blood to leak back with gravity and pool in the vein. They are most often the result of leaking and incompetent valves in the superficial saphenous veins.
These abnormal valves allow blood to flow retrograde back down the legs and into all of the skin veins. The repeated reflux causes high vein pressures, resulting in veins, which enlarge and twist over time. Leg pain associated with varicose veins is usually due to swelling of the veins and of the surrounding tissues. Phlebitis develops when one or more of these veins develop a blood clot, usually when the patient is inactive. A painful and red lump where varicose veins are located is nearly always a sign of phlebitis.
Who Is at Risk for Varicose Veins?
It is estimated that one in three Americans over the age of 45 has some form of vascular disease. Certain lifestyles and work requirements, such as prolonged sitting or standing, can worsen venous disease. Teachers, police officers, and retail associates are all at risk for developing venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Heredity is a primary factor in over 80% of varicose vein cases. Other risk factors for varicose veins include obesity and pregnancy. Women are almost 4 times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. Your risk for varicose veins may increase with age.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
- Veins that are swollen and rope-like bulging out from the surface of the skin
- An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
- Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Bleeding from varicose veins
- A painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
- Color changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention
Diagnosis & Evaluation
At Vein Specialists of Geneva, we treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. We start by identifying the problem with an ultrasound study of the legs. Once the bad veins are identified, we discuss the various treatment options and tell you which ones we think are the best for you.
Varicose veins and their underlying cause are quite treatable. We offer patients a variety of varicose vein treatment procedures that seal off veins with unhealthy valves. Blood circulation then returns to the veins with properly working valves, and closed veins are eventually absorbed back into the body.
Vein Specialists of Geneva offers a wide range of treatments because each case of varicose veins can be quite different. It is always our primary goal to find a solution for our patients that is best for them as an individual.
Contact our office today at (630) 425-0800 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kern and begin your journey to healthier, pain free legs.