Varicose veins are the dark blue and sometimes bulging veins that result when pooled blood leaks into the veins due to pressure on the legs, often from prolonged sitting or standing. They can be unsightly and even painful. In severe cases, if left untreated, they may turn into serious medical conditions.
Here are 8 treatments to consider if you're thinking about zapping your varicose veins. Be sure to discuss these and other treatment possibilities with your doctor to choose the right one for you.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT). A laser fiber is inserted into the damaged, underlying veins, causing them to seal shut and disappear.
Laser and Pulsed Light Treatments. A light beam is pulsed onto the veins, which seals them off and causes them to dissolve. Several treatments may be needed.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy. Veins are removed through very small punctures or incisions. No stitches are necessary.
Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy (TIPP). A light is placed under the skin to identify and remove the problem veins.
Vein Ligation. The varicose veins are tied them off, cutting off the blood flow and making them less visible.
Vein Stripping. The upper end is tied off and the vein is removed.
Other Types of Treatments
Sclerotherapy. A solution that makes the veins disappear is injected directly into the effected veins.
Radiofrequency Occlusion (VNUS). The veins are heated, causing them to contract and close.
Tips for Preventing Varicose Veins
* Exercise. Especially walking and running, because they encourage blood circulation in your legs.
* Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight places greater pressure on your legs and veins.
* Eat right. Go easy on salt and heavy on fiber to prevent swelling from water retention and constipation.
* Be style-smart. Wear low heals--they give your calf muscles a better workout. Do not wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist, legs and groin because they cut off circulation. Wear support stockings.
* Elevate your legs. A few times a day lie with your legs elevated higher than your heart to improve circulation.
* Move around. Change your position at least every 30 minutes to encourage blood flow.
* Do not cross your legs. Leg crossing aggravates circulation problems.
For more information see http://www.veindirectory.org/content/varicose_veins.asp.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times