Peachstate Advanced Cardiac & Endovascular
Board Certified Interventional Cardiologists & Vascular Specialists located in Newnan, GA & Hampton, GA
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 that can sometimes limit your activity. If you are experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, board-certified interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist Oghenerukevwe Odiete, MD, FACC, at Peachstate Advanced Cardiac & Endovascular (PACE) can help. With offices throughout Georgia, you can schedule an appointment at the office nearest you by phone or use the online booking tool.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and blue veins visible on the skin's surface. Generally observed on the legs and feet, they can sometimes appear on other body parts and internal organs.
What causes varicose veins?
If the one-way valves in the veins are damaged, blood flow 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.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Bulging, distorted, blue veins
- Swelling in the feet or ankles
- Leg aches and pain
- A feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet
- Itching at the site
- Changes in skin pigmentation at the site
- Leg cramps
Varicose veins should be taken seriously since they may be caused by underlying conditions or result in serious complications. See Dr. Odiete at PACE for an evaluation.
What are the risk factors for varicose veins?
Risks for varicose veins include:
- Advancing age
- Female gender
- Sitting or standing for long periods
- Overweight or obesity
- Family history
Pregnancy and childbirth, especially multiple births, increase a woman’s risk.
How are varicose veins diagnosed?
Diagnosis begins with a visual examination of the affected veins and a general physical exam. Dr. Odiete reviews your symptoms, family history, and lifestyle and may order additional tests like an ultrasound to check on the status of your veins.
How are varicose veins treated?
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. Odiete may recommend a combination of therapies to achieve these goals:
It is recommended that patients consider efforts of weight management, increasing physical activity, and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods.
Using high-energy laser light, endovascular laser therapy (EVLT) can destroy the affected veins.
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 on 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 PACE to discover the right combination of treatments for your varicose veins. Call the office or book online today.
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