Although many view varicose veins as a cosmetic issue that does not require medical intervention, they can cause debilitating symptoms, affecting your quality of life. The symptoms can affect your ability to focus on your daily activities. In severe cases, unsightly veins can result in the development of non-healing sores. If you are looking for minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins, The Woodlands Northwest Houston Heart Center specialists have your back.
Signature symptoms of varicose veins
The primary symptom of these unsightly veins is the appearance of protruding, rope-like dark blue veins at the back of your legs. Some people rarely experience symptoms, while others may experience swelling, muscle cramps, and achy legs. The skin around the damaged veins may also appear discolored, and non-healing sores may develop in severe cases. Varicose veins can cause a burning or itching sensation in the affected leg. You may experience stiffness or tightness in your legs after standing or sitting for extended periods. Your symptoms may worsen during pregnancy or menstruation. If left untreated, these unsightly veins can result in severe health problems such as chronic venous insufficiency or blood clots.
Diagnosis of varicose veins
During your Northwest Houston Heart Center appointment, your provider will discuss your symptoms and review your medical history. They may also examine your legs for swollen, rope-like veins. The team may utilize a hand-held Doppler ultrasound device to listen for abnormal sounds in your veins. This ultrasound can help them detect an underlying venous insufficiency disorder that could be causing your varicose veins. Sometimes, your provider uses a duplex ultrasound, which utilizes high-frequency sound waves to provide images of blood flow in your veins. This diagnostic technique helps your provider detect blockages in the affected veins.
Available treatments for varicose veins
Your treatment plan will rely on the severity of your symptoms. If you experience mild symptoms, your provider may recommend compression stockings. However, if you experience severe symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, they may recommend the following:
Sclerotherapy is a slightly invasive treatment in which your doctor injects a solution into your veins, causing the affected to stick together. Your body then naturally absorbs the damaged veins and redirects blood to flow through healthier. The number of injections you require depends on the number and size of the affected veins. After the procedure, the team may recommend wearing compression stockings to promote healing and minimize your risk of blood clots.
Endovenous ablation involves transmitting heat energy to seal the varicose veins. Your doctor will perform the procedure under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. During the procedure, your physician will insert a thin catheter into the vein and transmit heat energy through the catheter to collapse the vein. This procedure is minimally invasive, causes minimal discomfort, and has a short recovery period. You can resume your daily activities a few days after the treatment but avoid strenuous activities.
If you have painful varicose veins or the unsightly nature interferes with your appearance, call the Northwest Houston Heart Center or book an appointment online for treatment.