Varicose veins are a very common condition. It is estimated that 50% of the United States population over the age of 50 experience varicose veins. These are bluish, often bulging, veins that appear mostly on the legs and feet. In addition to cosmetic issues, varicose veins can elicit painful symptoms which, in some cases, can limit your activity. If you are experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, Nay Htyte, MD, DSVM, FACC, FSCAI, at Brooklyn Heart can help. Call the Brooklyn Heights office in New York City today or use the online booking tool to make an appointment.
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, blue veins visible on the surface of the skin. Generally observed on the legs and feet, they can sometimes appear on other parts of the body and internal organs.
If the one-way valves in the veins are damaged, the flow of blood back to the heart may be affected. Blood can back up or even pool in the veins.
The walls of the blood vessels may weaken, resulting in enlargement and distortion of the veins. The veins then become visible on the surface of the skin.
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
Varicose veins should be taken seriously, since they may be caused by underlying conditions or result in serious complications. See Dr. Htyte at Brooklyn Heart for an evaluation.
Risks for varicose veins include:
Pregnancy and childbirth, especially multiple births, increase a woman’s risk.
Diagnosis begins with a visual examination of the affected veins and a general physical exam. Dr. Htyte reviews your symptoms, family history, and lifestyle and may order additional tests like ultrasound to check on the status of your veins.
The goals of treatment are symptom relief, improving the appearance of the veins, and prevention of serious complications like skin ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, or bleeding. You must address any serious symptoms immediately.
Dr. Htyte may recommend a combination of therapies to achieve these goals:
It is recommended that patients consider efforts at weight management, increasing physical activity, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods.
Endovascular laser therapy (EVLT) can destroy the affected veins with the use of high energy laser light.
Sclerotherapy, in which a solution is injected into the affected veins under ultrasound control, may be used to seal the varicose veins.
These procedures are generally done the same day as a consultation, in an outpatient setting. They are tolerated well, do not have major side effects, and do not require downtime. It is possible that varicose veins may reappear, and you may need more than one treatment.
In more serious cases, or if you are not a candidate for other procedures, surgery might be recommended to remove varicose veins.
The use of compression socks or stockings, or compression bandages, can help to relieve pain, swelling, and other symptoms. This is especially useful for pregnant women.
Medications, like Vasculara®, are available to help relieve the pain of varicose veins.
Contact Brooklyn Heart to discover the right combination of treatments for your varicose veins. Call the office or book online today.