Varicose veins are enlarged, rope-like veins that occur in the legs of both men and women. Often dark blue in color, they appear near or even raised above the surface of the skin. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet.
Varicose veins don't develop suddenly. In fact, they usually take years to form. While they're often inherited, anyone can get them. And they're common for people who have had certain types of leg injuries or deep-vein blood clots. And in the United States, Varicose veins are a common condition affecting up to 15 percent of men and up to 25 percent of women.
Another factor for developing varicose veins is doing work that requires standing or sitting for long periods of time. This deprives the veins in your legs of the regular bloodflow that occurs when your leg muscles flex during walking and other activities.
As you go about your day, blood flows from your heart to the rest of your body through arteries. It then returns to the heart through veins. It first collects in small superficial veins, then flows into larger veins that have one-way valves to keep the blood from flowing backward.
In healthy veins, these valves make sure the blood is directed upward and inward toward the heart and lungs. But when one or more of these valves don’t work properly, some of the blood leaks and flows back down the leg. This causes the vein to overfill with blood, making the branches of those small superficial veins bulge under the skin.
The deep veins can withstand this pressure, partly because of their construction and partly because they're surrounded by muscles. But over time, this extra pressure can cause superficial veins to become distended. And without treatment, chances are they will become varicose veins.
As these superficial veins weaken further, more and more blood accumulates under pressure and causes swelling. Eventually, the valves no longer close at all and blood begins to pool in the superficial veins of the lower leg. These engorged, rope-like veins (varicose veins) are abnormal yet common and mostly affect women.
Varicose veins tend to run in families. If your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or other family members have had varicose veins, it's likely that you'll develop them. A defect in the vein walls or valves is the greatest contributing factor in 70% of cases.
Primarily due to the production of progesterone (one of the major female hormones), females are more likely than men to get varicose veins (by a ratio of 4:1).
Varicose veins is a progressive condition that worsens in frequency and severity with age. As we age, elastic fibers in our bodily tissues break down, leading to wrinkles in the skin and weakening of the blood vessels.
Excess bodyweight increases the pressure on vein valves and can lead to their weakening.
Changes in hormone levels brought on by puberty, pregnancy, menopause, hormone replacement therapy and contraceptives are risk factors for varicose veins.
Increased progesterone levels, blood volume in the body and pressure on the pelvic veins all contribute to the formation of varicose veins.
Varicose veins are common and aren’t generally associated with more severe health problems. But they can be painful, unattractive and worsen over time. Varicose veins can cause legs and feet to swell, a sense of fatigue or restlessness in leg muscles, and throbbing and cramping at night. The skin surrounding the veins may also itch and burn. In severe cases, venous insufficiency may develop, causing irregular circulation. This can lead to problems like deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot).
Patients with venous insufficiency often benefit from medical treatment. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to swelling, increased pain, skin discoloration and ulcers. These ulcers are difficult to treat and can easily become infected and painful. When it comes to varicose veins, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Two or more of the below symptoms at or near the same time may be a sign of varicose veins. A rash or skin ulceration on the ankle or lower leg may also be an indication of varicose veins. Be sure to consult your physician, especially if you see large, rope-like, twisted-looking veins that appear deep-bluish in color. Early symptoms of varicose veins include:
Aching, heavy legs (often worse at night and after exercise)
A brownish-blue shiny skin discoloration around the veins
Skin over the vein may become dry, itchy and thin, leading to eczema (venous eczema)
The skin may darken (stasis dermatitis), because of the waste products building up in the legs.
The first step involves calling our friendly staff at 954-983-8910 in order to set up an initial consultation. At this consultation we will review your treatment options and advise you on cost, accesories and schedule the date of your varicose vein removal.
Before the Surgery
The night before the surgery, you may eat normally. The morning of the surgery, however, we ask that you refrain from drinking caffeine (coffee, tea, cola) in order to improve the varicose vein treatment results. With this unique laser treatment, you will be able to walk out and return to work the same day if you wish.
Our friendly staff will prepare your leg and scan it with a state of the art ultrasound machine in order to locate the troublesome varicose vein. You will also be provided with special glasses to wear in order to protect your eyes. This is just a precaution against accidental laser energy firing outside an individual’s body.
Shortly after, Dr. Yale Cohen, our Board Certified Cardiologist, will enter and begin the procedure by anesthetizing the area around the vein. For some, this is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure since it involves multiple injections.Once numbed, the laser is guided via ultrasound to the very top of the varicose vein. Our doctor will turn it on and slowly pull it out while it collapses the vein. During the actual burning of the varicose vein, you may sense a slight taste of burnt vegetables in your mouth. Our doctor's recommend chewing mint gum in order to avoid the sensation. Once the laser is removed, the initial incision is bandaged and post-surgery care begins. Normal varicose vein removals are completed within 30-40 minutes.
Immediately After the Surgery
Our trained technicians will teach you about post-surgery care and discuss important bathing and sleeping tips to improve your treatment results. At this time, you will also be shown how to put on and care for a special compression stocking that will speed your healing results.
A Week After Surgery
Like all other minimally invasive procedures, varicose vein laser therapy can potentially result in some minor bruising, which usually goes away during the first several weeks. Also, you will feel a "pulling" sensation as well as delayed tightness about 4 to 7 days after the varicose vein treatment procedure is completed. These side effects are normal and are expected after a successful treatment procedure.
After 30 days, a post followup visit is scheduled in order for the cardiologist to review your results. We will photograph the vein before and after the surgery and any questions you may have will be answered.
3702 Washington Street, Suite 305
Hollywood, Florida 33021
Toll-Free: (866) WOW-LEGS
Local: (954) 983-8910
Fax: (954) 985-5781
1865 N. Corporate Lakes Blvd, Suite 2A
Weston, Florida 33326
Toll-Free: (866) WOW-LEGS
Local: (954) 986-6582
Fax: (954) 985-5781