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Do Varicose Veins Cause Medical Problems?

Summer is here, and you want to wear shorts in the heat, but you don’t like the way your legs look. You have unsightly purple varicose veins that protrude from your skin in long, bumpy ropes, and your legs are often painful. 

Dr. Carol White with Dr. White's Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC, in Morgantown, West Virginia, is a vascular specialist who treats many cases of varicose veins. If you’re tired of your legs hurting after a long day, Dr. White discusses treatment options for varicose veins with you and recommends a plan she thinks is best for your situation. 

Why do I have varicose veins? 

When you have varicose veins in your legs, your vein system is malfunctioning. Your veins have one-way valves that open and close to move blood toward your heart. When the valve is faulty, blood pools in your veins and they become abnormally large, often pushing the skin outward and causing ridges along your legs. 

People who stand on their feet for long periods often develop varicose veins. Pregnancy can initiate the condition, as well as menopause and being overweight. Varicose veins tend to occur as you get older. 

What medical problems can varicose veins cause?

Many cases of varicose veins result in pain in your legs, especially after you’ve been standing for long periods. Using compression stockings and elevating your legs helps these symptoms. However, if your varicose veins become severe and your legs are swollen much of the time, you can develop leg ulcers, or sores that are difficult to heal and can threaten your health. 

If you have varicose veins, you want to make sure that you don’t have a blood clot. If your legs are very painful, swollen, and red, or you have a rash, you need to seek immediate medical treatment. 

Part of a clot can break away and travel upward, lodging in your lung. If this occurs, you may develop a life-threatening embolism. Dr. White performs tests to determine if there is a hidden clot deep in your veins. 

Medical treatment for varicose veins

There are several medical treatments that help resolve varicose veins. Modern technology has yielded a number of options. Dr. White can seal your vein walls with a special adhesive during a VenaSeal™ procedure. She can also use radiofrequency ablation heat energy to seal your vein walls together in a ClosureFast™ procedure. 

Sclerotherapy is an older procedure, but tried-and-true for smaller varicose veins. For this treatment, Dr. White injects a solution that constricts your veins. If your varicose veins are close to the surface of your skin, Dr. White can perform an ambulatory phlebectomy, removing the vein altogether. 

For expert treatment for your varicose veins, call our office or request an appointment online today.

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