Each of your veins contains a one-way valve that allows for the continuous flow of blood to your heart. When a valve sustains damage, the blood backs up and pools in a superficial vein. You will notice swelling and redness associated with varicose veins when this happens.
Common signs and symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins cause many symptoms besides the physical ones you can see. These include:
- Achy or painful legs with a sensation of heaviness
- Ankles and lower legs feel itchy
- Muscle cramps in the legs, especially at night
- Swelling of ankles and feet
- Throbbing or burning sensations in your legs
Some people in Nashville, Tennessee, experience worsening varicose vein symptoms during the summer. Should this happen to you, try resting and elevating your legs to see if that relieves your symptoms. Be sure to inquire about vein treatments with Siragusa Vein and Laser right away if you have concerns about developing an ulcer, blood clots, or thrombosis of the deep veins. These are common, yet serious, complications of untreated varicose veins.
Risk factors for varicose veins
You are more likely to experience them if you have one or more of the risk factors we outline below.
You are more prone to developing varicose veins the older you get.
Excessive standing or sitting
When you sit in one position for too long, your veins must work harder to transport blood back to your heart. This is especially true when you cross your legs. If your job requires you to sit or stand for hours each day, take breaks as often as possible and do the opposite.
Women develop varicose veins more often than men due to the hormonal changes of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
The likelihood of you developing varicose veins is higher if a parent or sibling has them.
High body mass index (bmi)
If you are overweight or obese, the excess body weight puts pressure on your veins, which can cause blood to pool.
Past leg injury
The veins in your leg may remain weak long after you have healed from a vein injury, which increases the likelihood of varicose veins.
Varicose veins during pregnancy and the three to 12 months after giving birth are common due to the pressure a growing baby places on the legs and abdomen.
Common vein treatments for varicose veins
Dr. Tif Siragusa always tries the most conservative treatment approach first before recommending specific vein procedures. Compression stockings that apply pressure to the legs to encourage the normal flow of blood from your veins to your heart are just one example. He may also recommend elevating your legs each day.
This vein procedure replaces the much more invasive vein stripping. Laser energy cauterizes and seals your unhealthy veins internally, leaving your healthy veins to take over the work of transporting blood.
The microphlebectomy procedure is appropriate for patients who have many surface veins remaining after undergoing endovenous ablation. Dr. Siragusa makes tiny puncture holes around your varicose veins and removes them with a handheld medical instrument.
During sclerotherapy, Dr. Siragusa injects medication into the affected vein with a tiny needle. The medication causes inflammation and irritation of the unhealthy veins, forcing the release of blood into your healthy veins.
Learn more about vein treatments today
We invite you to meet our vein physician in Nashville to learn more about varicose vein treatments. Feel free to learn what our patients have to say before contacting us for a free vein screening at 615-777-0744.