What are varicose veins?

varicose veins – Memphis Vascular

Varicose vein treatments performed at the first Nationally Certified Vein Center in Memphis.

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Venous insufficiency or reflux is an abnormal vascular condition, with decreased return of blood from the veins in the leg that go back up to the heart and pooling of blood in the veins. Normally, valves in the vein close to keep blood from flowing backwards with gravity towards your feet. When the valves in the vein become weak and don’t close properly, they allow blood to flow backward, or reflux. Varicose veins are bulging veins that occur when the valves stop working correctly and are a result of dilation under pressure.  They become enlarged, thickened, and become tortuous. The most common cause of varicose veins is reflux within the greater saphenous vein in the thigh, which leads to blood flowing backwards causing visible varicose veins below.

Your visit to our office

At our office, we know your time is valuable and we will promise to see you within 15 minutes of your scheduled appointment time.   When you schedule an appointment at our office for your varicose vein treatments, you will have a chance a talk to Dr. Roberts about your symptoms. After you have discussed the issues you are having he will decide if you need to have an ultrasound performed.  This is done in our office the same day.  One of our nationally credentialed ultrasound techs will perform the ultrasound on you.  Once that is completed, Dr. Roberts will also scan you with the ultrasound and show you the images.  He will go over your treatment options.  You will also sit down with the nurse assigned to you and get more information, as well as get any more questions you have answered before proceeding with scheduling treatment(s).  Our goal is that at the end of the visit, you feel well informed of the vein disease you are experiencing and have a good understanding of how we plan to treat these vascular issues.  We want you to be completely comfortable with your treatment plan.

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Prevalence of Varicose Veins

Chronic venous disease of the legs is one of the most common conditions affecting people.

  • Almost half of the U.S. population has venous disease—50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men. Of the people with venous disease, 20 to 25 percent of the women and 10 to 15 percent of men will have visible varicose veins.
  • Varicose veins affect one out of two people age 50 and older, and 15 to 25 percent of all adults.
Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

Risk factors include age, family history, female gender and pregnancy.  Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies, can accelerate the worsening symptoms and visual appearance of varicose veins.

Symptoms of Varicose veins

Symptoms caused by venous reflux and varicose veins include aching leg pain, fatigue, restless legs and leg heaviness, all of which worsen throughout the day. Many people find they need to sit down later in the day and raise their legs to relieve these symptoms. In more severe cases, venous insufficiency or reflux can cause skin to get darker or wounds to open up, which may be very difficult to treat. One percent of adults over age 60 have chronic ulcers or wounds.

Even if you can not see any varicose veins by looking at your legs, you can still have symptoms of venous disease.  Other abnormal veins, such as spider veins, reticular veins, or varicose veins that are enlarged and putting pressure on surrounding nerves.

Diagnosis and Assessment

An interventional radiologist is a doctor whom specializes in performing minimally invasive procedures using imaging for guidance.  Dr. Roberts will use ultrasound to assess the vein including vein valve function, and venous blood flow changes, which can assist in diagnosing venous disease. Doctor Roberts will then look at the deep and superficial venous systems to determine whether the veins are open and to pinpoint any reflux. This will help determine if the you are a candidate for vein treatment such as vein ablation or sclerotherapy.

Endovenous Ablation Treatment (click for more information)

Insurance

Many insurance carriers cover the vein ablation treatment, based on medical necessity for symptom relief. We will check your plan to make sure you have benefits for varicose vein treatments.

Surgical Treatment of Veins

Traditionally, vein stripping was the treatment for varicose veins, but these procedures can require a long recovery period and tended to be very painful.  Studies have shown that this technique can lead to high recurrence rate.  New techniques have been developed with higher success rates. For more information please click here.

Other Treatments for Varicose Veins

Phlebectomy and injection sclerotherapy are also used.  Phlebectomy is performed on abnormal veins that are not associated with saphenous reflux.  The abnormal vein is located and by performing several small incisions, is removed using a special set of tools. The procedure is performed using lidocaine to numb the skin, and typically takes under an hour. Recovery is quick, and most patients do not need to change their regular activity after phlebectomy.

Injection sclerotherapy can also be used to treat some varicose and nearly all spider veins. An extremely small needle is used to inject the vein with a solution that causes the vein to shrink.

Contact us at 901-683-1890  for more information

Or schedule an appointment online HERE.

For more facts about varicose vein treatments and vascular disease please follow the below link.

Legs for Life Program (click for more information)