Nearly two in five Americans will experience venous insufficiency at some point in their lives. Venous insufficiency happens when the one-way valves in a vein stop working, and the flow of blood becomes sluggish. Blood pools up behind the valve, and the vein swells, becoming visible and standing up from the skin. These enlarged veins are called varicose veins, and they can cause issues beyond just the cosmetic.
At Vascular & Interventional Associates in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, our team of expert vascular surgeons and vein specialists can diagnose and eliminate varicose veins. We'll help create a treatment plan for you that reduces your risk of complications from varicose veins and minimizes any symptoms you may have been experiencing.
Varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. Your venous insufficiency can put you at risk for any of the following health conditions:
Blood that collects and is stored in the veins over long time periods can cause venous skin ulcers or sores to form, usually on the lower leg near the ankle. These can be very painful, heal very slowly, and run the risk of becoming infected.
Varicose veins can damage the skin of your legs and cause itching in and thinning of the layers directly over the vein. If you scratch your leg or bang into something, the vein can rupture and bleed significantly.
If you get small blood clots in veins close to the skin’s surface, your vein may feel hardened, hot, swollen, and tender to the touch. This is called superficial thrombophlebitis, and it requires medical attention, though it’s not quite as dangerous as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
Larger blood clots in deep veins put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis. If a clot dislodges or a piece breaks off, it can travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is an emergency health situation that’s life-threatening.
Most serious health issues connected with varicose veins can be avoided with early treatment. Our team can help eliminate varicose veins using any of several methods designed to close the vein or physically remove it.
Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to travel the length of the affected vein and damage the walls enough that the vein collapses. The same effect can be achieved with an endovenous laser. We can also use sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a foam into the vein to cause it to collapse.
Veins that are collapsed disintegrate, and your lymphatic system flushes them from your body. If you have serious skin ulcers, the doctor may also perform a microphlebectomy, and extract the vein itself through a tiny pinhole in your skin. In either case, the blood reroutes to a nearby healthy vein that still has good valves to direct your blood flow.
If you have varicose veins, early treatment can reduce your risk of serious health problems. Call our office to make an appointment at 859-308-1968, or request one online today.