By Joe Krug, Artemis Medical Clinic
It’s the end of the work day; your legs are heavy, achy, and tingling. You have noticed that as the years have progressed, these symptoms have gotten worse. In addition, there are now varicose- and spider-veins that inhabit your legs and prevent you from wearing your favorite pair of shorts on a consistent basis.
Varicose-veins affect 30 to 40 percent of the population and are affected by a number of hereditary and environmental factors. While most people consider varicosities to be simply a cosmetic issue, they have the potential to develop into a serious medical issue. Delayed treatment of varicosities can lead to inflammation, clots, sores or ulcers and can cause bleeding.
As we move, deoxygenated blood is returned to the heart. At any given moment, about 70 percent of your total blood volume is found in your legs. Because the return of this blood is against gravity, one-way valves are present in your veins to work with your musculature to flow toward the heart. When the valves fail, blood in these vessels will reflux, or flow backward, causing engorgement of the vessels leading to varicose- and spider-veins.
Though unable to ‘cure’ the valves, there are methods available to help relieve the discomfort of varicosities. Initially, exercise, weight loss, avoiding prolonged periods of standing, and compression stockings may be able to help relieve the discomfort from this condition. When conservative management fails, several treatment options are available depending on your severity of discomfort and cosmetic appearance. Sclerotherapy is a local chemical injection for small or spider-veins. Micro-Phlebectomy is a local excision of small to medium varicose-veins. Endovenous laser ablation is minimally invasive procedure whereby a laser is inserted into the troublesome vein and used to cause it to seal off. Vein stripping is a surgical procedure used to cut away (or strip) the offending veins.
Given the advances in both conservative and invasive therapy, there are numerous methods available to help alleviate all your symptoms from varicose- and spider-veins. Please consult your physician for further details and treatment options.
Dr. Joe Krug is the director of Artemis Medical Center in Carmel, specializing in the wellness and aesthetic care of the motivated individual. You may be contact Artemis Medical and Dr. Krug at 580-0840.