Varicose veins, often ropey, bulging veins in your legs, may be a big inconvenience and source of embarrassment for many who suffer with them, but the medical issues run deeper and there is much more to them than meets the eye.
Varicose veins are incredibly common, affecting close to one in four adult Americans. Yet, many never seek treatment and choose to live life with the associated pain and complications.
Your leg veins, literally, face an uphill battle as they carry blood from your feet to your heart. Leg muscles squeeze the veins to push the blood up toward the heart. Small valves within the vessels prevent blood from getting pulled backward toward the feet, or “refluxing”, on this journey. But if these valves fail, blood can pool in your leg veins, increasing the pressure and causing the affected veins to bulge and thicken and causing symptoms of heaviness and aching.
Following are the most frequent pieces of incorrect information we hear from our patients upon evaluating their varicose veins.
Varicose Veins Are a Cosmetic Issue Only
Not only is this statement untrue, but many patients with varicose veins will go on to develop symptoms including aching, heaviness, throbbing and swelling of the legs – especially at the end of the day. More severe, but less common symptoms can include bleeding, skin discoloration, skin thickening and ulcer formation, mainly in the ankles.
Vein Treatment Recovery is Difficult and Lengthy
The newer state-of-the-art vein treatment procedures are minimally-invasive and require very little downtime. All patients are able to get up and walk themselves right out of the office and are able to return to work and normal daily activity immediately with only a few restrictions.
Surgical Stripping Is Only Option
Until about 12 years ago, the only type of varicose vein treatment available was a type of hospital-based surgery called vein stripping, which was painful and involved much downtime and a long recovery period. Many of our current patients have family members who had their veins stripped in the 1970s – 1990’s, so they believe this is their only option as well. We also treat patients who have had previous vein stripping in the past, but have seen the development of recurrent varicose veins.
Today, all vein treatment is performed in the comfort and convenience of our dedicated Albuquerque vein treatment center.
Varicose Veins Are an Inevitable Part of the Aging Process
The occurrence of varicose veins definitely increases with age, however not all are pre-destined to develop them. They are NOT a natural part of the aging process and we’ve actually treated patients as young as their 20’s.
Varicose Veins are Only a Women’s Issue
While varicose veins are more common in women, primarily due to pregnancy, men develop them, too. It’s been estimated that 10-15% of men will develop varicose veins.
Running Causes Varicose Veins
Not only does jogging NOT cause varicose veins, exercise of any type is always a good thing for the health of your veins. All exercise is good for your circulation, but running and walking, especially, lead to increased pumping of blood in your legs’ circulatory system.
Varicose Veins are Always Visible
While most people associate varicose veins with the visible bulging veins at the surface of the skin, they can also occur just beneath the skin where they often remain unnoticeable. Just because a person doesn’t have bulging veins doesn’t mean that they don’t have varicose veins that may be causing leg discomfort.
If you would like your legs to look and feel great this summer, call our office today to schedule your free vein screening so you can get back into the summer clothes you love with legs you deserve. 505-848-8346.