Varicose Veins

What are varicose veins and what causes them?

Varicose veins are enlarged sometimes twisted veins on the surface of the skin. They are found most commonly in the lower legs, ankles and feet. Varicose veins usually are not serious by themselves, but they often lead to other more serious health problems.

Varicose veins are caused by weakening of the valves and veins in your legs. The body has over 60,000 miles of veins! Normally, oneway valves keep blood that is pushed up the leg by muscles from flowing back down the legs toward the feet. When these valves do not work as they should, blood does not get out of your legs, and the venous pressure builds up. Under normal circumstances it is normal to have low pressure in the venous system and high pressure in the arterial system. Varicose veins are a sign that the venous pressure is increasing in the lower legs. The veins then may become weak, enlarged, and twisted.

There is a hereditary component to varicose veins as it often runs in families. Aging, multiple births and occupational hazards also can contribute to increased risk of venous disease.

Being overweight or having a job where you must stand for long periods of time increases pressure on leg veins. This can lead to varicose veins.

What are the symptoms?

Varicose veins are primarily identified by their physical appearance. They look bluish, and are often swollen and twisted under the skin. Some people do not experience any symptoms. Others do have symptoms but fail to recognize them due to the gradual nature of their development.

If varicose veins are making walking or standing painful, or you are experiencing other serious symptoms, you should seek medical treatment. Varicose veins can be harmful to your health if they are associated with conditions like venous stasis ulcers, phlebitis, venous hemorrhage or thrombosis. Ask a vein specialist if you are at greater risk of developing any of these conditions.

How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

At the Vein Center of Arizona, we treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. Your first appointment with Dr. Larson will be an initial evaluation of your symptoms. Dr. Larson will ask you about the problems you are experiencing and perform an ultrasound study of your legs. Once the affected veins have been identified, he will discuss the various treatment options available to you and tell you which ones he thinks are most appropriate. Our convenient, effective outpatient visits are focused on treating the root cause of varicose veins, not just the symptoms.

Mild symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • Heaviness, burning, aching, tiredness, throbbing or pain in your legs
  • Swelling in your feet and ankles
  • Itching around the vein

More serious symptoms of varicose veins include:

  • Leg swelling
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling and calf pain after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Color changes in your skin
  • Dry, thinned skin
  • Inflammation
  • Scaling
  • Open sores
  • Bleeding easily after a minor injury
symptoms

How are they treated?

Quick, effective outpatient visits treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.

Diagnosis

At the Vein Center of Arizona, we treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. Your first appointment with Dr. Larson will be an initial evaluation of your symptoms. Dr. Larson will ask you about the problems you are experiencing and perform an ultrasound study of your legs. Once the affected veins have been identified, he will discuss the various treatment options available to you and tell you which ones he thinks are most appropriate. Our convenient, effective outpatient visits are focused on treating the root cause of varicose veins, not just the symptoms.

How Are Varicose Veins Treated?

Varicose veins and their underlying cause are fortunately quite treatable. Treatment typically begins with conservative management techniques, such as wearing compression stockings, taking anti-inflammatory medication, changing your diet and elevating your legs at the end of the day. If these efforts do not provide sufficient relief, we offer our Yuma patients a variety of varicose vein treatments that seal off veins with unhealthy valves. Many are minimally invasive and do not involve a long, uncomfortable recovery. When a problem vein is closed, blood circulation is rerouted to veins with properly working valves and the treated vein is eventually absorbed back into the body.

Treatment

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.

The Vein Center of Arizona offers patients a wide variety of treatment options:

Comprehensive Treatment Plan

Developing a comprehensive treatment plan follows a thorough assessment. The assessment will normally consist of a review of your venous symptoms, a visual inspection of your problems and a thorough review of your history. The assessment completed by Dr. Paul Larson, supplemented by the diagnostic ultrasound if indicated by a registered vascular technologist will aid in the process.
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Conservative Management

Before seeking out a surgical or non-surgical treatment for varicose veins and other uncomfortable vein disorders, doctors may recommend conservative management techniques for patients. Conservative treatments may be required by an insurance company before other treatments can be considered.
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Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.
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Endovenous Laser Treatment

Endovenous Laser Treatment for the elimination of unhealthy varicose veins is the gold-standard for minimally invasive treatment of varicose veins. EVLT uses laser energy, which is a highly concentrated beam of light. They work by delivering this light energy to the tissue that is targeted with extreme precision, so as not to damage the surrounding tissue.
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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the primary treatment for spider veins and small superficial varicose veins that usually appear on the legs. They less commonly appear on other parts of the body. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical solution into a targeted spider vein or a reticular vein through a very fine needle.
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Foam Sclerotherapy

Foam sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive technique for men and women to eliminate unsightly varicose veins and spider veins. The procedure involves injecting a foam sclerosant in a blood vessel to close it. The blood reroutes itself through healthy veins, restoring more normal blood flow.
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Ambulatory Micro-Phlebectomy

Also known as ambulatory phlebectomy, this is a procedure that can be performed in the office and is commonly performed at the time of endovenous ablation. The procedure is intended to remove larger bulging varicose veins near the skin surface.
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Real Results.

See Before and After Treatment Results.

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“I can now endure intense cardio and leg workouts, and it does feel like I’ve been given a new set of legs.”

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