Varicose Veins: Understanding what they are and your treatment options

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For many individuals, varicose veins are not always painful but more so, an unsightly, cosmetic issue. Those that struggle with varicose veins, whether aesthetically or even medically, find themselves disliking when warmer weather hits the Northern Virginia area because they are self-conscious about wearing shorts or having their legs exposed. Everyone wants to have attractive and healthy-looking legs so when varicose veins begin to appear it can be a frustrating issue, especially for women, but there is help.

Mountcastle Plastic Surgery and Vein Institute in Ashburn, VA is a premiere vein clinic serving the greater Northern Virginia area. Dr. Timothy Mountcastle is a board-certified plastic surgeon and medical vein specialist who specializes in helping patients get relief cosmetically and medically from their varicose veins. For more than 15 years, Dr. Mountcastle and his professionally trained staff have provided comprehensive vein treatments to their patients in a comfortable environment. If you are concerned about varicose veins let’s take a look at what you can do and how Dr. Mountcastle can get you back to loving your legs again!

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What are varicose veins?

There are two different types of vein issues that mainly affects the legs and feet for patients. Spider and varicose veins are vascular issues that can cause the unsightly appearance of veins and be an unpleasant condition for both women and men. Spider veins are spindly, little veins that look like a spider web or tree branch and typically are not painful but a cosmetic nuisance. Varicose veins can be quite different in appearance, painful and in some cases as well as turn into a medical issue in certain situations if not addressed. Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are blue or purple in color and can be bulging in appearance. In most recent studies, it has been determined that 1 in every 4 adults is affected by them. So what causes varicose veins?

Why do varicose veins occur?

It is uncertain why some people deal with varicose veins. Vascular issues, like varicose veins, are commonly seen in the legs, ankles or feet. The veins in our body have a big responsibility of providing blood back and forth from the heart. When a valve to a vein begins to improperly open and close then it causes blood to “pool” or collect which is why the appearance of that vein becomes noticeable. The veins in our legs are furthest from our heart so more likely affected due to location. So who’s at risk?

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Who's at risk for varicose veins?

It is not fully understood why some individuals deal with vascular issues like varicose veins and why they are more common for women than men. Some likely factors that may contribute to why certain individuals deal with varicose veins are:

  • Aging: Individuals over 50 seem to develop issues with their veins particularly in the legs.

  • Pregnancy: This can take its toll on women with weight and hormone fluctuations which can cause vein issues.

  • Genetics: A family history of varicose veins seems to increase the chances of developing varicose veins.

  • Inactivity: Standing or sitting for long periods of time can be a factor to developing varicose veins.

  • Menopause: Changes in hormones for women can cause veins to weaken and develop issues.

  • Obesity: Substantial weight can cause strain and pressure on veins, especially in the legs, which can lead to the development of varicose veins.

Treatment help

In some cases, patients dealing with varicose veins can get relief by exercising more, losing weight or wearing compression socks but in some situations more needs to be done. If certain varicose veins go left untreated it can evolve into a more serious circulation issue and can even rupture. Consulting a certified vein specialist, like Dr. Mountcastle, is the first step. After an initial exam and ultrasound, then it can be determined what the next course of action should be on getting help with your vascular issue. Varicose vein treatment options at our Ashburn, VA certified vein treatment clinic include:

  • Sclerotherapy-a cosmetic solution to treating smaller varicose veins by using a tiny needle to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution causes the vein to absolve over time and eventually is absorbed into the body. This outpatient procedure usually takes more than one treatment and patients typically see results in about 3-4 months.

  • Microphlebectomy-is a surgical solution to remove larger varicose veins through tiny incisions to which the affected vein is extracted. This outpatient procedure is done with a local anesthetic and patients have minimal discomfort post-op. A compression garment is required for a short period of time to aid in the healing process.

  • The VNUS? Closure-is a new option and variation to the old technique of “vein stripping”. This outpatient procedure has been perfected with a closing mechanism using radiofrequency energy (RF) delivered through catheter type device that uses heat to shrink and seal off the varicose vein. Once the problem vein is closed off, blood will reroute to healthier veins in the area. A bandage is put over the incision site and compression garments may be needed to aid in the healing process for a short period of time.

Varicose veins are a common issue and patients have options to remove them! In most cases, there is no pain for individuals dealing with varicose veins but when you don’t want to wear shorts or a bathing suit anymore then you need to consider getting help. Northern Virginia certified vein treatment clinics that specialize in the cosmetic and medical help with such vascular issues can be the solution.

Mountcastle Vein Clinic in Ashburn, VA has helped countless women and some men get relief from their varicose vein issues. Dr. Timothy Mountcastle is a leading vein specialist in the Northern Virginia area, as well as a board-certified plastic surgeon. He understands the cosmetic need for his patients to get rid of their varicose veins so they can feel confident again about how their legs look! If you have varicose veins and want a solution to treat them then call or schedule a consultation with Dr. Mountcastle today!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.