Varicose veins are common in people over the age of 50, those who have a genetic predisposition, and those who are overweight. They aren’t usually dangerous, but they can limit the patient’s movement and result in ulcers that take a long time to heal. At Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV, we offer several innovative and minimally invasive treatments that help patients get rid of their diseased veins.
Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
Varicosities don’t cause serious health issues unless they are very pronounced or the patient has another condition that puts them at risk. Potential complications include deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism, ulcers, bleeding that doesn’t stop, and a loss of mobility due to pain and swelling.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if your varicosities are causing you problems. Many of our patients get their diseased veins removed because they are in pain, their skin around the varicosities is dry, they are experiencing swelling, or they have frequent muscle cramps. Some come to us because they are concerned about the appearance of their legs. We’re happy to help, no matter why you want to get your diseased veins removed.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism
Deep vein thrombosis happens when a blood clot forms in one of your veins. The symptoms are pain, swelling, redness of the skin, and tenderness in the affected area, often in the legs. If DVT isn’t treated quickly, a part of the blood clot could break off and travel to the lungs. There, it can cause a blockage called a pulmonary embolism. This condition is life-threatening because it prevents your blood from reaching your lungs.
Doctors aren’t sure whether varicosities increase your risk of DVT and a pulmonary embolism. Some people argue that those with severely diseased veins often have other conditions like heart problems and obesity, which increase their risk. However, it’s best to get your varicosities removed as a precaution.
Ulcers and Bleeding
Large, bulging veins often lead to open sores, called ulcers, that don’t heal well on their own. This happens because the veins don’t push the blood back up the legs, so it pools, and pressure builds up. Eventually, the skin bursts, and an ulcer forms. Sometimes, this issue can be treated at home, but if it doesn’t get better after several weeks, medical attention is necessary.
Varicosities can also cause bleeding. Although only a small amount of blood gets lost through a varicose vein, patients usually have to see a doctor because the bleeding doesn’t stop on its own. Open sores and wounds increase the risk of infection and further complications, so it’s important to address the underlying issue and remove varicosity.
Pain and a Loss of Mobility
Pain is one of the most common symptoms of diseased veins. The patient’s legs often feel heavy, and the skin around the varicosity becomes dry and flaky. The veins can also cause cramps, swelling, and trouble walking. Many people find their symptoms are worse if they’ve been sitting or standing for a long time.
If varicosities aren’t addressed, they can lead to long-term mobility issues. Patients stop moving around because they are in pain, so their muscles become weaker. This is especially problematic in older people, who need to keep their tissues strong to reduce the risk of falls. A lack of regular exercise also causes weight gain and heart problems, and it harms the patient’s mental health.
What About Spider Veins?
Spider veins are clusters of purple or red veins under the skin. They are similar to varicosities, but they don’t cause bulges, and they are much smaller. For this reason, they don’t usually cause pain or any of the above-named issues.
Spider veins are a purely aesthetic concern, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated. At the clinic, we can remove small veins with a laser or sclerotherapy. The process only takes a few minutes, and the spider veins won’t recur once they’ve been removed.
What Are My Treatment Options?
We don’t usually recommend invasive surgery for varicosities or spider veins. Instead, several minimally invasive methods allow patients to get rid of their diseased veins without having to take several weeks off work. Large veins are often treated with endovenous laser ablation. Patients with spider veins and smaller varicosities receive either laser treatment or sclerotherapy.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous laser ablation is the best treatment method for large and painful varicose veins. It involves the use of heat to seal the veins and prevent blood from flowing through them. Because the treatment is minimally invasive and takes an hour or less, it doesn’t usually require a hospital stay. We start by applying a numbing cream to your tissues and giving you a numbing injection. Then, we use an ultrasound to check on the vein.
The catheter is inserted into your vein through a small incision. Then, a laser is inserted into the catheter. As it gets pulled back out, the laser energy seals your vein. Over time, your blood will find a new pathway, and the broken vein will be absorbed by the body. You’ll need to rest at home and avoid exposure to water for at least 48 hours. We also encourage patients to wear compression stockings for several days.
Small varicosities and spider veins can be treated with a laser that is applied to the skin. This treatment works like endovenous laser ablation, but it is less invasive and only takes 15-30 minutes. You’ll come to the clinic several times for your laser sessions.
During sclerotherapy, a sclerosing substance is injected into the diseased veins. This encourages them to close, so the blood finds a new pathway, and the body absorbs the diseased veins.
The process is similar to laser therapy, but the sclerosing substance is used instead of heat. Sclerotherapy works well for veins up to 4 mm in diameter, while laser treatment is only appropriate for veins up to 1.2 mm in diameter. Some patients need one or two sclerotherapy sessions, but most people see optimal results after at least three appointments.
Wearing Compression Sleeves
Sometimes, treatment isn’t necessary. If you’re not worried about your varicosities, and they aren’t causing you pain, you might not need to have laser treatment or sclerotherapy yet. Wear a compression sleeve when you sit or stand for a long time to reduce your risk of DVT and prevent painful symptoms.
Compression sleeves are also worn after laser treatment or sclerotherapy. They keep your tissues in place during the healing phase and prevent the blood from pooling in your legs. We recommend that you put on your compression stockings in the morning while you’re still in bed or keep them on overnight.
Do I Need Treatment?
Although varicosities can cause complications, the risk is low. Despite this, most people want to get this condition addressed because it is painful and affects the appearance of their legs. Because our methods are permanent, patients don’t have to commit to ongoing sessions. After coming to see us two or three times, they no longer suffer from varicosities. Treatment is essential for people who are in pain and whose mobility is affected by their diseased veins.
Don’t hesitate to speak to us if you’re worried about your varicosities. We’ll explain the options in more detail so you have more information before you commit.
Which Method am I Eligible For?
If you have spider veins or small varicosities, you’ll likely receive laser treatment or sclerotherapy. If you have large, bulging varicosities that cause a lot of pain, endovenous laser treatment is more appropriate. Before determining which method is suitable, we’ll speak to you about your symptoms and desired results, examine your health history, and look at your diseased veins.
Most patients are eligible for our minimally invasive treatments, but women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with an infection or ulcer at the treatment site might need to wait. Those with serious health issues have to speak to their doctor before taking part.
Get Rid of Your Varicosities Now
Varicose veins can lead to pain, swelling, muscle cramps, and ulcers. Some patients with severe varicosities might even be at risk of deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. Get in touch with us at Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV to book your appointment now. We’ll examine your varicosities and let you know which treatment is appropriate. We offer endovenous laser ablation, laser treatment, and sclerotherapy.