Venous Insufficiency

Stages of Venous Insufficiency begin with healthy legs, then begin to show signs of reticular veins or spider veins resulting in varicose veins or venous nodes which then continue on to edema of the lower leg before resulting in varicose eczema or trophic ulcer.
Leg with spider veins

What is the difference between SPIDER VEINS and VARICOSE VEINS?

Spider veins are small red, blue, or purple blood vessels on the surface of the skin. Spider veins are part of the first stage of venous insufficiency. When the veins become swollen, enlarged and ropey, they are referred to as varicose veins. Together, spider veins and bulging varicose veins comprise the most common circulatory problem of the lower extremities. It is estimated that spider veins and varicose veins affect 80 million people in the United States.

About 35% of American adults have VARICOSE VEINS

Varicose veins are large, twisted veins that occur on the lower extremities like the thighs and calves. They form when your vein valves malfunction, causing blood to flow backward and pool.

In most cases, varicose veins are only a cosmetic concern, but they can also cause irritating symptoms, such as itching, burning, and tingling. Varicose veins can increase the risk of more serious health problems, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis. Fortunately, with professional intervention, they’re easy to treat.

The team at I-Vascular Center offers minimally-invasive outpatient care to treat both spider veins and varicose veins.

Before and after images showcasing reduction in varicose veins

What is varicose vein treatment?

Varicose vein treatment refers to a group of procedures used to minimize, and in some cases, remove varicose veins. I-Vascular Center offers several varicose vein treatment options, including:

Compression stockings

Compression stockings are a type of medical-grade hosiery designed to improve leg circulation. As you age, both your legs and veins expand. There are valves, or flaps, in your leg veins that help prevent blood from flowing backward and keep blood flowing to the heart. If they expand enough that the valves can no longer close properly, blood may pool backward resulting in leg swelling and fatigue.

Photo courtesy: Medtronic

Compression stockings help squeeze everything back together and prevent expansion of your legs and veins. While not a solution in every case, compression stockings can help improve the feeling in your legs and prevent further complications. They are made of snug-fitting, stretchy materials that place light to moderate pressure on the veins in your legs, allowing for improved function. If you have mild varicose veins, leg swelling, or even fatigue from being on your feet all day, compression stockings may significantly relieve your symptoms. 

Amazon.com carries several brands and styles of compression stockings. The worse your vein condition, the higher the mmHg number you will require, and the more pressure you will feel on your legs. At the end of the day, your legs and feet will thank you.

Sclerotherapy

If you have small or medium-sized varicose veins, you might benefit from sclerotherapy. During a sclerotherapy appointment, I-Vascular Center injects a solution into one or several veins. The solution causes the veins to swell and collapse and your blood reroutes to healthier pathways throughout the body.

Endovenous laser ablation

If you aren’t a candidate for sclerotherapy, you might benefit from endovenous laser ablation. During this type of vein treatment, we insert a small wire with a laser electrode into a varicose vein. After positioning the wire, we heat the electrode, which causes the vein to collapse. Afterward, your blood reroutes to healthier veins throughout the body.

Ambulatory phlebectomy

If you have large superficial varicose veins near the surface of your skin, Dr. Gerges might recommend ambulatory phlebectomy. During this quick outpatient procedure, small incisions are made near the dysfunctional vein(s) and a small tool is used to carefully remove it (them). There are no stitches, so you can return to routine activities soon after.

What type of varicose vein treatment will benefit me?

The type of varicose vein treatment that will benefit you depends on your health history, the location and size of your veins, and your symptom’s effect on your quality of life. Following a comprehensive exam and a review of your medical history, I-Vascular Center can develop a custom care plan that aligns with your needs.

Venous insufficiency symptoms, prevention & treatment

If you are displaying any of the visual symptoms above or are experiencing any of the symptoms from the following list, you may be at risk of, or are already suffering from chronic venous insufficiency.

  • Leg pain, aching, or fatigue
  • Leg heaviness
  • Leg cramps
  • Non-healing sores on the leg
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Leg or ankle burning or itching

These symptoms are often associated with diabetes and arterial disease. I-Vascular Center specializes in varicose vein treatment and accepts most insurance providers.

Prolonged and untreated venous insufficiency may result in blood clots and skin changes that result in “ugly” legs. The skin texture can become firmer, less fleshy feeling, and will have poor healing qualities. As the disease progresses, the skin may break down and develop an open skin ulcer or sore.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your varicose vein prevention plan may require you to make lifestyle changes such as spending less time on your feet, losing weight, and tweaking your diet. 

Dr. Gerges believes in curing the root of the problem, not just managing the problem. Old treatment methods are putting a huge burden on our nation’s economy and causing patients unnecessary suffering. I-Vascular Center has the power to make an incredible shift in healthcare, and that is exactly what the staff does every day.

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