What Are Varicose Veins?
Your legs have veins that bring blood back to your heart. Inside those veins are valves that act as doors to prevent blood from going backwards once it’s gone past that point in the vein. When those valves fail or do not work as well, blood will end up staying in the leg and not getting back to the heart like it is supposed to. Over time this leads to blood staying in the legs and the development of varicose veins.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
There are several risk factors for varicose veins which include but not limited to:
- Advanced age
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Family history
- Trauma to the leg
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Symptoms related to varicose veins include swelling of the legs, discoloration of the skin, pain, fatigue of the legs, numbness, ulcers and many more. Varicose vein swelling usually is swelling that gets worse during the day when your standing or sitting that improves when you lay down and put your legs up. Most people will notice the swelling is better in the morning.
How to Diagnose It
First you need to see a doctor about this issue. An ultrasound of your legs can be done to determine if the valves in your leg are not working correctly and it is leading to the problem. Once that is determined and you have tried conservative therapy and it has failed or have severe venous insufficiency that has led to discoloration or ulcers, you can be eligible for the procedure to help have a permanent solution to the problem using radiofrequency ablation.
Treatment for Varicose Veins
Treatment for varicose veins includes using compression stalkings, diuretic therapy and leg elevation. New technologies are available now for patients who fail this treatment and who have more severe varicose veins. Radiofrequency ablation of the vein that is leading to the problem involves placing a catheter in the vein and basically closing that vein. The procedure is an outpatient procedure and usually done in the office. Most insurances will cover this procedure if the pateint has tried conservative therapy for a minimum of 3 months and it failed.