If the cosmetic appearance of varicose veins is not an issue for you, it's easy to ignore their treatment. Beyond how they look, these deformed blood vessels can create serious health issues as they continue to expand. The sooner you have them treated, the less likely it is that you'll experience additional health problems. The treatment of these vessels when they are small is also less invasive. Here are some of the complications resulting from untreated varicose veins and the treatment options available to you.
Varicose Veins Affect the Blood Flow
Varicose veins are blood vessels that have lost the ability to move the blood through them. Tiny valves in the vessel walls fail to push the blood along into the general circulation. This allows blood to slowly pool in the blood vessel.
The blood vessel expands to hold the pooling blood. You'll start to notice this as a small swelling under the skin. As the vessel continues to expand, you'll be able to see the bluish vessel more defined. The blood will eventually force the vessel into a large convoluted shape that can extend far down your legs. When the pooling of the blood is sufficient to impact the amount of blood that gets to your lower legs, ankles and feet, you'll develop additional health issues.
Symptoms of Advanced Varicose Veins
The lack of blood in your legs, due to advanced varicose veins, will cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- feeling of coolness in your lower legs and feet
- numbness develops down your leg from the point where the varicose vein begins
- muscle cramps develop because of the lack of oxygenated blood to them
- pain can develop along the length of the affected vein
- an increase in your blood pressure can occur as your heart works harder to get blood down into your legs
The pain and numbness in your legs from the impact of the varicose vein on your circulation can be so intense that it keeps you off of your feet.
Treating Advanced Varicose Veins
Small varicose veins can be treated with medication so they don't become a health hazard. If your varicose veins have advanced to the point where they are causing painful symptoms, vascular surgery is required to remove them. The two procedures used are:
Vein Stripping - This procedure is used when the enlarged vein extends down through your leg. A rod is inserted through an incision and into the vein. The rod is then threaded down the length of the vein. Small incisions are made at intervals along the vein where it is then tied to the rod. The rod is pulled out of your leg with the vein attached to it.
Phlebectomy - Large, short varicose veins must be removed from your leg in pieces. Several incisions are made over the vein. It is then cut into sections and removed.
Both of these surgical procedures leave bruising and scars where the veins developed in your legs. By getting your varicose veins treated early, you'll avoid any painful symptoms and they can be removed easily without leaving a trace. Contact a business, such as Cedar Surgical Associates PC, for more information.