Winter is a Great Time to Take Care of Your Legs Do Unsightly Veins Only Occur as You Age?
Varicose and spider veins are a common problem found in approximately 25% of the population. A common misconception is that they tend to occur only in older patients and women. In reality, they can be found in men and women of any age. Heredity is another risk factor for venous disease.
Why do Spider and Varicose veins occur more in the legs?
Because we stand or sit for prolong periods of time. We make the leg veins work much harder than in any other part of our body. Leg veins normally carry blood back from the feet to the heart. Vein valves keep blood flowing in one direction. However, in many people, the valves and veins become abnormal and allow blood to flow backwards towards their ankles. This is called venous reflux. This then exerts pressure on the surface skin veins that bulge out. If left untreated, this can result in leg pain, restless legs, itching, cramping, swelling, ankle discoloration and thickened skin. Ultimately, it can cause open wounds or ulcers at the ankles. Left untreated this may lead to more serious medical issues.
Spider veins can be erased with sclerotherapy where a chemical is injected into the fine veins, causing them to seal and disappear. For venous reflux, invasive surgical vein stripping is no longer necessary. The abnormal veins can be closed using endovenous catheter ablation which is a minimally invasive treatment. Phlebectomy can also be performed where multiple tiny incisions are made to remove the bulging veins. All of these can be done safely and comfortably in the office, with minimal downtime afterwards.
At the L.A. Vein Center, Dr. Larisse K. Lee, a board certified vascular and general surgeon, offers all of these treatments. If needed, we perform an in house ultrasound evaluation so a rapid diagnosis can be made. We evaluate every patient thoroughly and tailor a treatment plan according to the individual’s needs. We accept Medicare and most major PPO insurance. Call 818-325-0400 to schedule an appointment today.
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