Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins that usually appear on the legs. They’re often dark purple or blue in color and resemble twisted, bulging cords. While there are potentially many causes, researchers believe they are most often a result of weakened vein walls and valves due to contributing factors like aging, genetics, pregnancy, or years of prolonged sitting or standing.
In some cases, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic nuisance. Many people find them unsightly or embarrassing. In others, however, varicose veins often become symptomatic causing enough discomfort and medical issues to warrant treatment. Aside from pregnancy, they are generally considered permanent and progressive. Therefore, putting off treatment can often make your vein problems worse.
This is why it is recommended to visit a vein specialist for evaluation. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons not to delay your varicose vein treatment.
1. To Avoid a Lower Quality of Life
Both symptomatic and asymptomatic varicose veins can affect your quality of life. The term “quality of life” generally means your level of happiness, well-being and functioning. One way in which varicose veins can affect this is by making you feel uncomfortable in shorts or skirts and causing you to avoid activities that expose your legs — like swimming, for instance. Varicose veins can also cause symptoms that interfere with day-to-day functioning, like pain, fatigue and leg swelling.
An international population-based study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery found that varicose veins affect quality of life most significantly when they are associated with venous symptomatic disease. So, if your varicose veins are causing a lot of pain and discomfort or interfering with your functioning, it’s a good idea to have your vein health assessed and seek appropriate treatment before your quality of life is further affected.
2. To Prevent Them From Getting Worse
Treating varicose veins is better done sooner than later. Varicose veins are considered a progressive disease, meaning it tends to get worse over time. With early conservative treatment, you may potentially slow down the progression of this fairly common vein problem. Conservative approaches for varicose veins include:
- Avoidance of prolonged sitting or standing when possible
- Leg elevation whenever possible
- Regular exercise
- Weight loss if overweight
- Compression stockings
At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we can help you manage leg veins with compression stockings, which are available in different sizes and levels of compression. Compression stockings work by providing gentle and gradient pressure that helps push blood from the diseased vein back and upward to the heart. They promote proper venous circulation, and many patients have found significant relief through this simple treatment.
3. To Reduce Risk of Complications
While rare, complications from varicose veins can and do happen. One serious complication of varicose veins is leg ulcers. Leg ulcers are open wounds on the legs caused by poor venous circulation. Without treatment, they tend to recur. Many leg ulcers are resultant from varicose veins and underlying venous insufficiency. If varicose veins are left untreated, a small percentage may result in leg ulcers and associated skin complications.
Other possible complications of untreated varicose veins include venous infections, skin changes and deep vein thrombosis. You can reduce your risk of leg ulcers and other varicose vein complications with conservative measures as mentioned earlier. More definitive treatment is often possible, however, via in office minimally invasive vein procedures. At the Vein Centers of Florida & South Baldwin, Dr. James Jimenez is an expert in treating problematic veins in the office setting.
4. Because It’s Quick and Painless
Before modern leg vein treatments, leg vein removal meant undergoing invasive surgery, overnight hospital stay, and long recovery. But today, there are several different vein treatments at your disposal which are minimally invasive, relatively painless, and require little to no downtime. Most can be performed in an outpatient setting with local anesthesia. According to research, these approaches are just as effective as vein stripping in treating pathological veins.
Our patients notice dramatic improvements in the appearance of their leg veins, which tend to gradually disappear following our minimally invasive procedures, which include:
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT™)
- Cosmetic Sclerotherapy
- Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
In general, any discomfort your varicose veins might have caused is improved as well. You may need to undergo a few treatment sessions to obtain the desired outcome, but each session should take no more than 30 – 45 minutes.
5. Vein Treatment Is Covered by Insurance
Most insurance types, Medicare included, will cover varicose vein treatment when it’s deemed a medical necessity. So, if you’ve postponed having your varicose veins treated due to financial concerns, know that in many cases insurance will help. At our vein clinic in Florida, we accept all referrals and will find the best solution for your particular case at no cost.
Some insurance companies require several weeks of conservative treatment before approving more permanent solutions for varicose veins. Usually, that means wearing compression stockings.
Insurance providers do not cover spider vein treatments. Spider veins are often related, however, to existing varicose veins and venous insufficiency. These treatments often are covered and often result in improvement in spider vein appearance as well. Speak to your doctor and insurer to see whether you are eligible for insurance coverage.
Get Your Leg Veins Treated Today
Treating varicose veins is simple, quick and relatively pain free with our range of minimally invasive procedures. Many of these alternatives to open surgery are also covered by insurance for those who meet medical criteria. Besides that, treating your varicose veins can help prevent complications or worsening of symptoms — and ultimately improve your quality of life.
If you feel ready to take the next step towards treating your varicose veins, call The Vein Center today at 1-800-910-VEIN or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Pensacola and Destin, Florida, as well as Foley, Alabama. Our goal is to help you feel confident in your skin and live your life to the fullest. Don’t let painful and unsightly veins prevent you from that, and seek treatment today!
Campbell B. Varicose veins and their management. BMJ. 2006;333(7562):287-292. doi:10.1136/bmj.333.7562.287
Kurz X, Lamping DL, Kahn SR, et al. Do varicose veins affect quality of life? Results of an international population-based study. J Vasc Surg. 2001;34(4):641-648. doi:10.1067/mva.2001.117333
Jones RH, Carek PJ. Management of varicose veins. Am Fam Physician. 2008;78(11):1289-1294. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19069022/
InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Varicose veins: Overview. 2008 Feb 20 [Updated 2019 Sep 25]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279247/
Leopardi D, Hoggan BL, Fitridge RA, Woodruff PW, Maddern GJ. Systematic review of treatments for varicose veins. Ann Vasc Surg. 2009;23(2):264-276. doi:10.1016/j.avsg.2008.10.007