Capitol Vein Blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CNN Asks About Varicose Veins

I saw this report, titled What the Yuck: Ugly Varicose Veins on the CNN Health website. The patient asks the question:

I'm in my 30s and I already have ugly varicose veins in my legs. Why did I get them, and how can I get rid of them?”

Capitol Vein & Laser is the highest-volume comprehensive vein center in the DC, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia regions, so this is a question we encounter frequently.

The development of varicose veins at a young age can be very confusing for patients, because varicose veins are often thought of as an “older person’s disease.” The youngest patient I've treated – for large inner leg varicosities - was 14 years old!  Of course, the incidence of varicose veins does increase as we age; my oldest patient to date was a vibrant, independent 102 year old who had a skin ulcer as a result of the vein problems.

Varicose veins develop largely because of inherited predisposition to vein wall weakness. The veins lose the ability to resist the constant downward pressure of gravity. Backflow then develops, leading to higher pressure in the skin veins. Surface varicose veins then appear, with associated symptoms like leg aching, heaviness, restless leg syndrome (RLS) and swelling. Of course, blood clot risk also increases as the varicose veins enlarge.

Treatment is very quick, effective, and covered by most health insurers. VNUS Closure, ClariVein, microphlebectomy and sclerotherapy are all good options, depending on the size, location on the leg, and ultrasound findings.

For advice from highly qualified specialists in vein care, you can refer to the American College of Phlebology website, or seek a free evaluation at any of our four regional vein centers in Frederick, MD; Bethesda, MD; Leesburg, VA; or Charles Town, WV.

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