What can be done for varicose veins?
Varicose veins are quite common, affecting over 30 million Americans, and result from pooling of blood in the leg veins as a result of abnormal valve function in the superficial leg veins. They are unsightly and can cause many symptoms, including leg heaviness, swelling and pain, restless legs and discoloration of the skin, particularly in the lower calves. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to cellulitis (an infection of the skin) and leg ulcers.
Diagnosis is made using an ultrasound. Sometimes, treatment is as simple as wearing a medical-grade compression hose, leg elevation, no prolonged standing or sitting and foot exercises. For more serious conditions, treatment is performed in the physician’s office and includes anesthetizing the area and using a catheter to close up the offending vein. A compression hose is worn for two weeks post treatment.
The latest procedure for treating varicose veins is VenaSeal, which closes the diseased vein using a medical-grade “super glue.” This treatment requires no anesthetic, apart from numbing the skin were the catheter is placed, and a compression hose is not required post-surgery.
Recuperation time is about two days with minimal discomfort. Any pain is usually managed with mild pain medications such as ibuprofen. Most patients are able to return to work within a week.
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