As you get into shape for beach season, you may find one thing troubling you about which there is nothing you can do. Looking in the mirror at your beach-ready body, you notice that there are areas on your legs where there are bulging veins that are visible. These are known as varicose veins. They can be caused by a variety of things, and there are also several risk factors that can cause them to develop in your legs. Luckily, these veins can be dealt with fairly easily. One of the most common procedures, microphlebectomy, is available at Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo and can be performed with a simple outpatient procedure.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
There are many symptoms of varicose veins. These include:
● Aching, cramping burning or throbbing pain
● Pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time
● Leg heaviness or fatigue
● Leg swelling
● Itching around one of your veins
If there is red discoloration or pain in the vein area, or any hardening or inflammation, contact Dr. Rayman as these may be indicators of a more serious vascular condition.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Many factors may make you more prone to develop varicose veins. These include heredity, your occupation, immobility, sex, pregnancy, aging, and obesity.
It is not clear why, but in general genetics plays a strong role in the development of varicose veins. Simply put, varicose veins tend to run in families. If one of your parents has varicose veins, you have about a 50% chance of getting them. If both parents have varicose veins, there’s a 90% chance that you’ll get them.
If your job requires that you stand for prolonged periods of time, there is a greater chance that you will get varicose veins. Hairdressers, restaurant workers, factory employees, housekeepers, and those who work in retail are thus at increased risk of developing varicose veins. It seems that the effects of gravity over years of prolonged standing can cause the valves in the veins to fail, leading to varicose veins.
People who have a job that requires prolonged sitting are also at risk for developing varicose veins. The reason for this is that the calf muscles are not being utilized when you are sitting in one place. The calf muscles are very important in returning blood to your heart, as when they contract they help to empty the veins in your legs. If the calf muscles are not being used, blood tends to pool in the leg veins, leading to varicose veins.
Varicose veins occur slightly more commonly in women and can be caused by changes in hormonal levels due to pregnancy, menopause, and even menstruation. Hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills can also increase the risk of developing varicose veins. The most common time that changes occur is during pregnancy since hormone level changes relax the vein walls.
Having said that, varicose veins are also quite common in men – over 20% of men develop varicose veins during their lifetime. Men often wait longer than women to get treated, which isn’t necessarily the best choice, as today’s treatments are so easy to undergo and can make such a big difference in the overall health and appearance of the legs.
People who are immobile, which may occur due to illness, trauma, or a job that requires prolonged standing or sitting in one place, are at risk for the development of varicose veins. As discussed above, this occurs because the calf muscles, which normally act as a pump to return the blood to the heart, are not being utilized as they should. This leads to pooling of blood in the veins, which causes them to gradually dilate and become visible varicose veins on the skin surface.
Your veins lose elasticity as you get older, and the valves in the veins begin to wear out. As a consequence, the veins enlarge and become varicose veins, which may require treatment to restore normal flow and improve the overall health of your legs.
Patients who are obese also have an increased risk of developing varicose veins. However this is only a relative risk, as many patients who have varicose veins are not overweight at all, and many actually be in excellent shape.
What is Microphlebectomy?
Microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove medium and large bulging “varicose” veins on the surface of the legs. It is a simple, safe, comfortable procedure, with little downtime and great medical and cosmetic results.
The procedure, performed under local (tumescent) anesthesia, involves removal of the bulging veins through tiny entry points in the skin by an instrument that resembles a microscopic hook. After removal of the veins blood flow is naturally redirected toward healthy veins. The treatment requires no stitches and results can be amazing.
Benefits of Microphlebectomy
Outpatient Procedure Performed with Local Anesthesia
This procedure allows you to avoid the costs and risks associated with general anesthesia. The procedure is very easy to undergo, and patients are typically amazed at how little discomfort they have during treatment. Since general anesthesia is not needed, the procedure is performed in the comfort of the office. There is no need to spend time in a recovery room, so you can immediately go home after treatment.
Microphlebectomy is by definition minimally invasive. In addition, Dr. Rayman uses a special device that most physicians don’t use which creates the tiniest of entry points. With this method, no stiches are needed, resulting in faster healing times and the best possible cosmetic results.
Microphlebectomy may diminish or entirely eliminate the symptoms in your legs due to your varicose veins. These symptoms including aching, throbbing, cramping, leg heaviness or leg fatigue. In addition, it has recently been shown that varicose veins increase your risk for deep venous thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening condition. By removing your varicose veins, your risk for DVT becomes lower.
The effects of not having large bulges in otherwise shapely legs can do wonders for your confidence. Many patients report that the removal of the varicose veins has helped them feel more confident wearing the clothes they want to wear and doing the things they want to do.
Recovery from microphlebectomies is simple and straightforward. The one thing you should do immediately after treatment is to keep your leg elevated for a few hours. After treatment your leg is typically bandaged for 1-2 days. The bandage is then removed and you will then wear a compression stocking on the treated leg for approximately two weeks after treatment. This stocking is worn for during the day to promote proper healing, since the flattened veins need to be reabsorbed into your body.
Although it is recommended that you do not do any exercise for the first twenty-four hours after the microphlebectomy, you can resume light exercise such as going for a walk, using a treadmill or an elliptical machine while using these compression socks is acceptable within a few days after treatment. More vigorous exercise, such as heavy weightlifting or high intensity aerobics can be assumed on a more gradual basis, with return to all normal activities within two weeks of treatment.
Covered by Insurance
It’s true. In most cases, microphlebectomies for varicose veins are covered by PPO insurance (subject to your deductible and co-insurance). But when not, treatments are typically quite affordable.
Schedule Your Consultation!
Microphlebectomies for varicose veins may provide you with benefits both aesthetically and medically. Not only could you find that your legs look more appealing when you try on that swimsuit, you might find that the fatigue and pain you felt in your legs previously has gone away. After you have had microphlebectomies at Beach Cities Vein & Laser Center in El Segundo, CA, you can have the confidence and the strength for that walk along the coast. Contact us today at (310) 986-6500 and begin the road to healthier, happier legs!