I'm 30 and I haven't worn a skirt or shorts forever. I started to get varicose veins behind my knee at 20. Now, they're down to my calf. I had laser treatment done last January by a top doctor at NYU. It didn't help me. On my other leg, I am getting a blue small vein and its starting to bulge out a little. I don't know what to do. All winter long, I wore compression stockings. Now, it's warm and I can't wear them anymore. Any suggestions or vein treatments to keep the other leg from getting worse?
Preventing and Treating Varicose Veins?
Doctor Answers 4
Varicose veins, venous ultrasound, laser, sclerotherapy
I always tell patients that of all the information about veins, I feel that there are really only two factors that are of most importance, and if they understand these two concepts, then they will understand veins and their treatment. First, remember that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of spider and varicose veins centers around the valves in the saphenous trunk working or not working. To assess this a venous reflux ultrasound would be necessary. In all cases of varicose veins and in a significant number of spider veins, malfunctioning(leaking valves) are the cause of the problem. Think of it like a dam that is leaking-the hole has to be plugged. Secondly, think of your veins like a tree with the varicose and spider veins being the branches and the trunk being the saphenous system. The trunk has the valves and if the leaves(varicose and spider veins) are not healthy, they will never get better unless the trunk is treated first. In your care, I would recommend a full repeat venous reflux exam to look for any other source of refluxing veins and treat these first followed by the treatment of any residual varicose or spider veins. Other types of therapy such as compression stockings, exercise and weight loss will not make anything better is you have an underlying valve issue.
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There is no way to totally avoid varicose veins.
Avoiding standing for long periods, compression hose, leg elevation when at rest all can help in delaying and slowing the progression of varicose veins. However, there is nothing that can be done to eliminate the problem. The integrity of the valves has a genetic component as well. When they do emerge, however, there are forms of treatment but they tend to be a life long problem.
Preventing Varicose Veins
You need to be evaluated by a phlebologist who specializes in vein care and performs microphlebectomy, sclerotherapy and laser therapy for spider veins, etc.
If you still have symptoms and continue to have varicose veins, reticular veins and spider veins, then you have had an incomplete treatment. This is especially true at your young age.
Neverthelss, things to do include walking and exercises to keep your calf muscles strong. The calf muscles are vey important in pumping blood out of your legs. I recommend that you also take horse chestnut extract, 200 mg twice daily. In rigorous studies done by the Cochrane Group, it has been shown to be as effective as wearing compression stocking in treating venous reflux disease. As well, you must wear surgical grade, properly fitted compression stockings to reduce the likelihood of developing more vein problems.
Remember, there is not one procedure that prevents you from every developing other vein problems. However, once properly treated and once you follow preventative measures, the likelihood of developing more vein problems will be reduced.