Common Causes of Superficial Venous Insufficiency

Common Causes of Superficial Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which veins aren’t properly returning blood upwards from the leg to the heart. The underlying reason blood doesn’t move effectively is due to malfunctioning valves in the veins; ordinarily they should only allow proper, upward, one-way flow. When they malfunction, valves allow wrong-way, downward flow, called superficial venous insufficiency or “reflux”. This reflux, over time, leads to increased pressure in these stretchy veins. With time and gravity, veins with reflux stretch out, become twisty and may bulge on the surface of the skin. These are known as varicose veins. The most common causes of superficial venous insufficiency are: • Heredity: probably not the gift you wanted from mom and dad. This is the factor that explains why varicose veins are found in both men and women. • Pregnancy:  The factors of extra flow and extra hormones that help support the pregnancy, along with a baby growing in the pelvis that may block efficient flow out of the legs…all contribute to added stress on vein valves. Ultimately, valves may fail. If you suspect that you have venous insufficiency, you should consult with a vein clinic where an evaluation can be conducted to get to the bottom of your condition. There are several symptoms of superficial venous insufficiency, and you may not have them all. However, the most obvious symptoms are: Heavy legs Tired legs Leg cramps Restless legs Intermittent swelling Due to the effects of gravity and reflux, these symptoms are typically worse in the evening, especially after prolonged standing/sitting. Jobs that require people to stand still (working retail sales, hair stylists, bank tellers, teachers) are prone to having patients become symptomatic after a long day of work. There are several treatments for superficial venous insufficiency. During your consultation, we will be happy to explain everything about the different cost-effective treatments that are available and help you decide the best treatment for your unique situation. Some of the most common treatments are: • Endovenous Laser Ablation • ClariVein® • VenaSeal® Superficial venous insufficiency is an extremely common problem and can be successfully treated using safe, […]

Endovenous Laser Ablation: Cutting-edge technology, without the cutting.

When I was a kid, I’d watch shows like Star Wars/Trek and look forward to a future bright with the promise of nifty answers to daily challenges: flying cars, on-demand food from a box in your kitchen and tricorder gizmos that you wave over boo-boos for an instant heal. Well, the car doesn’t fly…especially noticeable in the traffic snarls around Chicago…the only people getting on-demand food are my kids…and I had to spend over a decade to learn how to fix boo-boos the old fashioned way. But the techno-promise of the future actually DID arrive for one particular problem: varicose veins. Varicose veins are those aggravating, bulging and often symptomatic veins that happen mainly on our legs. A very common reason why they occur is due to an underlying problem within interconnected veins deeper beneath the surface that allows flow to pool downward with gravity. Over time, this wrong-way flow increases the pressure within surface vein branches and stretches them out…makes them bulge and twist…and contributes to symptoms such as legs that feel heavy, tired, crampy, swollen and even “restless”, especially at the end of the day. Back in days of yore…and by that I mean around a decade ago or so…vein-stripping surgery was the most common solution to dealing with wrong-way flow (reflux, to get all nerdy and technical). In order to spare the more squeamish readers, I won’t describe the procedure in detail…but suffice it to say vein removal surgery involved cutting & yanking, some amount of downtime & discomfort and, unfortunately an annoying percentage of side-effects & recurrence. Around the turn of the millennium, some clever docs decided to harness minimally-invasive technologies used for things like cardiac catheterization…along with new & improved lasers/radiofrequency devices…and adapt them for use in malfunctioning lower extremity superficial veins. After racking up a bunch of cases and amassing data from around the world, the medical community slowly but surely realized that minimally-invasive endovenous ablation techniques were the way to go. Bye-bye surgery, hello future! Instead of removing veins, endovenous ablation procedures allow us to leave the malfunctioning veins in place and just […]

Varicose Veins vs Spider Veins

Varicose Veins vs Spider Veins Varicose veins and spider veins are extremely common and prominent veins that are most often seen in the legs. If you’re trying to figure out what type of veins are causing your discomfort, read on to learn more about varicose veins versus spider veins. Varicose Veins vs Spider Veins: The Difference Spider veins have a twisty appearance, but they are smaller and more intricate. As the name implies, they often mimic the look of a fine spider web. These vessels appear red, blue or purple beneath the skin. They do not usually have a raised texture as varicose veins do. Varicose veins are larger and are raised above the skin surface. Over time, due to the effects of improper flow and pooling with gravity, these veins may become twisted and gnarled in appearance. Causes of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins There are many reasons why you might develop either varicose veins or spider veins. The two most common reasons are a hereditary disposition toward forming them (which is why they are found in men as well as women) and pregnancies, which is why they are more prevalent in women. People with jobs that require standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time may be more symptomatic. Symptoms of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Spider veins are very common and are frequently asymptomatic. However, a patient may have very little to show on the skin surface and still have significant symptoms of chronic vein disease. Symptoms often include tired, heavy legs; swelling; leg cramps; “restless legs” especially at night and chronic itching. Varicose veins, especially those occurring in the territory of problematic underlying saphenous veins, are more likely to be symptomatic. Problems may stem from wrong-way flow (reflux) in saphenous veins that leads to venous “pooling”. Over time, this pooling leads to increased pressure within these stretchy veins; this pressure may be transmitted to smaller branches that lead to the skin surface. Ultimately this can lead to bulging and twisted varicose veins. Types of Treatment In general, symptomatic patients with underlying reflux in saphenous veins may need to have such problems dealt […]

Advantages of VenaSeal® Vein Treatment

Varicose veins affect millions of Americans. This common manifestation of venous disease can lead to decreased confidence, discomfort, pain and other unwanted side effects. The cause of varicose veins can typically be traced back to an inherited disposition to developing them (which is why they are common in men and women) as well as pregnancies (which is why they are more common in women). Ultimately the underlying problem relates to improper, wrong-way flow within superficial veins that have malfunctioning valves. This improper flow allows blood to pool within stretchy veins and ultimately cause veins to bulge on the surface of the skin (varicose veins). VenaSeal® represents a new way to treat improper flow in veins that can lead to varicose veins. It differs from other treatments in the unique way it polymerizes within the vein, which in turn provides a reliable way to treat large varicose veins. How Does VenaSeal® Work? The first step to understanding the benefits of VenaSeal® is to understand how this procedure works. It utilizes a special polymer (medical glue) that causes the vein walls to permanently stick together. This polymer effectively seals the vein shut. This forces the blood to find an alternate route instead of pooling within the leg. The Advantages of VenaSeal® for Treating Varicose Veins The unique nature of  VenaSeal® treatments afford it a few unique advantages. These advantages include: • No need to use heat to seal incompetent veins. The use of heat with traditional endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation requires the use of extra local anesthetic; it’s the placement of local anesthetic that causes discomfort during these procedures. Non-heat treatments such as VenaSeal® require minimal local anesthetic. • Lasting success – VenaSeal® has been shown to have similar efficacy as endovenous thermal ablation. • Quick treatments – VenaSeal® procedures can be performed within 90 minutes • Minimal bruising Contact Rosen Vein Care Today If you would like to learn more about VenaSeal®, or you believe you may be a candidate for this cutting-edge treatment for varicose veins, contact Rosen Vein Care today. Dr. David Rosen, MD  has treated many patients dealing […]