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Varicose Veins Not Just A Cosmetic Problem
 by: Elizabeth Catalanotto

Since varicose veins seemingly only create an unsightly appearance, many people often think that there is no real medical problem, and that they are merely a cosmetic problem. This is a common misconception of varicose veins, and it results from of a lack of knowledge about the condition.

Although they pose only a cosmetic problem for many patients, some people experience varicose veins that cause physical discomfort and in some cases are quite painful. When varicose veins cause discomfort or pain, the legs may ache, swell or feel heavy or tired.

Varicose veins develop when surface blood vessels become weak. The pressure of blood pushing against the veinís wall can cause it to bulge or twist. They have a rope-like appearance and commonly develop on the thighs, calves, feet and back of knees.

If left untreated varicose veins can continue to enlarge and the pain and discomfort will worsen over time. Some of the more popular methods of treatment available include Sclerotherapy, Phlebectomy, vein ligation and Endovenous laser therapy.

1. Sclerotherapy can be used to treat smaller varicose veins through the injection of a chemical solution, which causes the vein to cave in and prevents blood from continuing to flow through it.

2. Phlebectomy is the surgical removal of the problematic vein. During this procedure, a hook is used to remove the vein through a small incision.

3. Vein Ligation is a surgical procedure involves tying off the vein, which forces the blood to flow through healthy veins and eases the pain of the affected vein.

4. Endovenous Laser Therapy is a less invasive treatment in which uses a thin laser fiber inserted into the vein to collapse the problem vein.

Regardless of which procedure is chosen, the appearance of the affected vein will improve once the blood flow through the vein has stopped.

Although existing varicose veins can be treated, these treatments will not prevent the development of additional varicose veins. To prevent varicose veins patients can begin by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Wearing compression stockings and/or elevating the legs can help to improve blood flow in the legs and relieve pressure.

About The Author

Elizabeth Catalanotto is a freelance writer for the Acadiana Vascular Center,, a full-service vascular practice in Louisiana offering comprehensive varicose vein treatments.

This article was posted on October 24, 2006


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