What are varicose veins ?
Varicose veins are visible, often protruding veins, most commonly located in the legs. They usually look like twisted rope located just under the skin.
Varicose veins also cause discomfort. Patients report achy, heavy, throbbing, warm, or itchy sensations in their legs, swelling in the feet and ankles, and leg cramps. This is due to blood pooling in the vein, causing it to enlarge over time. Wearing compression garments help, but is not a permanent solution.
What causes varicose veins ?
Venous insufficiency is the cause of varicose veins. That means that the circulatory system has a hard time pushing blood back to the heart from your extremities. Tiny valves in your veins open and close to allow blood to return to the heart, but in patients with varicose veins those valves are faulty. The legs are most often affected, though it is possible to have them elsewhere.
When the circulatory system can’t move the blood back to the heart it pools in the vein, building up over time. This back up of blood causes the veins to appear purple or blue, and results in the recognizable cord-like bulge.
What are spider veins ?
Spider veins have the same underlying cause as varicose veins, but they are much smaller. They are closer to the skin’s surface and look red, purple or blue. They occur on the legs, but are also common on the face.
Why do I have varicose veins and/or spider veins ?
Anyone can be affected by varicose veins and spider veins. There are some factors that are known to contribute to the development of vein problems:
Are varicose veins dangerous ?
Varicose veins themselves are not dangerous, but they can be a symptom of a serious issue such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or other blood clot issues. If you suddenly experience fatigue, swelling, pain, or tenderness in one or both legs, warm and/or discolored skin on the affected leg(s), or suddenly visible vein(s), seek medical care immediately.
Treatments are available to resolve both spider veins and varicose veins. The Houston Vein Institute offers Veinwave, laser surgery, and sclerotherapy procedures, in office, to help patients start looking and feeling better right away. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Take the next step to restore your health. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gomez to learn what treatment options are available for your condition.
*Medical insurance may cover the cost of treatment.
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