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Varicose Veins

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins commonly develop in our legs. They are often twisted, enlarged, and bulging veins that are blue or purple in color. They are caused by a type of venous disorder where the one-way valves in the veins become weak or damaged and result in pooling of blood because of the inability to pump blood out of the leg to return to the heart.

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Varicose Veins develop because of the several factors:

1. Genetics: A family history of varicose veins increases the risk of developing them.

2. Age: The risk of getting varicose veins increases with age as our veins lose elasticity over time.

3. Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins, possibly due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.

4. Pregnancy: Increased pressure on the veins in the pelvis and leg area during pregnancy can lead to varicose veins.

5. Obesity: Excess body weight can add pressure on the veins in the legs.

6. Prolonged standing or sitting: Jobs or activities that require longer periods of standing or sitting can increase the risk of varicose veins.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS:

Varicose veins can cause numerous symptoms, and the severity of symptoms varies across individuals. Common symptoms associated with varicose veins include:

1. Visible, Enlarged Veins:  Large, twisted, and/or bulging veins that are often blue or purple in color can develop in the legs.

2. Aching or Pain:  Individuals with varicose veins can experience aching or throbbing pain in the affected leg, particularly after standing or sitting for extended periods.

3. Heaviness and Discomfort:  A sensation of heaviness or discomfort in the legs can develop, which may worsen as the day progresses.

4. Swelling:  Particularly around the ankles and lower legs, swelling is common in individuals with varicose veins.

5. Itching and Burning:  Some people may experience itching or burning sensations around the affected veins.

6. Cramps: Muscle cramps, particularly at night, can be associated with varicose veins.

7. Restlessness:  Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), characterized by an urge to move the legs, particularly at night, can sometimes be linked to varicose veins.

8. Skin Changes:  The skin around the varicose veins over time may become discolored with a brownish or reddish hue. It can also become dry and easily irritated.

9. Ulcers:  In severe cases, varicose veins can lead to skin ulcers, typically around the ankle area. These ulcers can be painful and challenging to heal.

TYPES OF VARICOSE VEINS:

Varicose veins can be categorized into different types based on their location and characteristics. The most common types of varicose veins include:

1. Superficial Varicose Veins: These are the most common type of varicose veins and typically occur near the surface of the skin in the legs. They appear as enlarged, twisted, and often bulging veins, and they can be seen just beneath the skin’s surface. Superficial varicose veins are often the ones associated with cosmetic concerns and mild discomfort.

2. Reticular Veins:  Reticular veins are smaller than superficial varicose veins but can also appear near the surface of the skin. They are usually blue or green in color and are often interconnected with other veins. While not as large as varicose veins, they can still contribute to cosmetic concerns.

3. Trunk Varicose Veins: These are larger veins that may be deeper within the leg. They often serve as feeder veins, supplying blood to smaller varicose veins or reticular veins. Trunk varicose veins can be a source of significant discomfort and may require treatment.

4. Perforator Varicose Veins: Perforator veins connect the superficial veins to the deep veins in the leg. When these veins become damaged or dysfunctional, they can lead to increased pressure in the superficial veins, contributing to the development of varicose veins.

5. Pelvic Varicose Veins: While varicose veins most commonly occur in the legs, they can also develop in the pelvis, groin, genitalia, and inner thigh. Pelvic varicosities may be associated with pelvic congestion syndrome, a condition that develops when the ovarian veins in women develop reflux. It is most often seen in multiparous women and symptoms may include pelvic pain, back pain, heavy bleeding during menses, painful periods, pain during or after sexual intercourse, constipation, urinary frequency, and varicose veins, often along the labia and inner thighs.

6. Facial Varicose Veins:  While less common than varicose veins in the legs, facial varicose veins can also occur. They may appear on the cheeks, nose, or other areas of the face and can be a cosmetic concern.

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New England Endovascular Center is partnering with New England Vein Center to provide comprehensive vascular and endovascular care for all your vein care needs. We offer expertise, state-of-the-art imaging, and resources for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of varicose veins. We customize each patient’s treatment plan to maximize the best possible outcome. We are committed to providing excellent, personal patient care. Call our office today to schedule a consultation at 413-693-2852.

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Our providers are nationally recognized experts in minimally invasive therapies for treating Varicose Veins. We provide treatment for patients with Varicose Veins throughout Western, MA and Northern, CT. To learn more about treatments available at New England Endovascular Center call 413-693-2852 to make an appointment.