Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a medical condition that causes veins to become twisted and enlarged, usually in the legs. These veins are commonly referred to as “spider veins” because of their blue, tentacle-like appearance. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical options for treating varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Causes

Varicose veins are typically caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The main function of veins is to return blood to the heart.

In a functioning circulatory system, the heart pumps blood that carries oxygen to the rest of the body. The arteries bring the blood into different parts of the body. The veins then carry blood back to the heart muscle.

Similarly to heart valves, the valves in the veins open to allow blood flow up to the heart. If the valves become damaged or weak, they will not close properly and allow blood to flow backwards. This blood then fills the veins, leading to enlarged or stretched varicose veins.

Veins in the legs have an increased risk of becoming varicose since they are working against gravity to bring blood back to the heart.

Varicose Veins Risk Factors

Certain risk factors make people more susceptible to developing varicose veins. These factors include:

  • Family history
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Physical activity, like standing for long periods of time
  • High blood pressure

Varicose Veins Complications

Various veins are typically just a cosmetic concern. However, severe cases can cause swelling and discomfort in the legs and lead to more serious complications.

Although rare, the following side effects may result from varicose veins:

  • Blood clots can occur when veins deep within the leg become enlarged. Seek medical attention for persistent swelling or leg pain, as these symptoms may indicate a clot.
  • Ulcers can form on the skin near varicose veins, particularly around the ankles. Ulcers can be extremely painful. Discolored spots near varicose veins can signal the start of a leg ulcer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be developing an ulcer.
  • Bleeding can occur when veins close to the skin burst. Seek medical attention immediately, even though most bleeding is typically minor.

Varicose Veins Treatment

Whether your concerns over varicose veins are cosmetic or medical, the physicians at Aiken are here to help. We offer both surgical and nonsurgical options to treat varicose veins.

VNUS® Closure® Procedure

We are proud to offer a minimally invasive option called the VNUS® Closure® procedure. This approach typically leads to less pain and bruising when compared to traditional varicose vein surgery.

To perform this procedure, the physician closes the diseased veins by inserting a thin tube called a catheter into the vein. They will also heat the vein wall using radiofrequency energy. This causes the collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. After the vein is sealed shut, blood will naturally reroute to healthy veins.

VenaSealTM Closure System

We also offer the VenaSealTM closure system, which uses a specially formulated medical adhesive to close the diseased vein. Unlike other procedures, it does not use heat to close the vein.

In the procedure, a clinician fills a syringe with the medical adhesive. The solution is injected into the system’s dispensing gun that is attached to a catheter. The adhesive is then applied along specific areas of the diseased vein and compression is applied to the vein. The VenaSeal system is designed to minimize patient discomfort and reduce recovery time.

Traditional Surgery

Traditional surgery for removing varicose veins. During this surgery, the doctor removes the diseased veins by making small incisions in the leg. The doctor will then remove the veins segment by segment.

Your varicose vein specialist will help you decide on the right medical treatment.