What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins, sometimes called spider veins, are enlarged and twisted rope-like veins that appear near the surface of the skin. While they can develop anywhere in the body, they are most commonly found in the legs and ankles because standing and walking increase pressure in the lower extremities.

What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins before and afterIn normally functioning veins, tiny one-way valves open as blood flows toward the heart and close to prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves malfunction, blood pools in the veins, resulting in a buildup of pressure that weakens their walls and causes them to bulge. Over time, the increased pressure can cause additional valves to fail, leading to the development of varicose veins.

Varicose veins are often genetic and part of the normal aging process. Additionally, they can occur when any condition puts more pressure on leg veins—including standing for long periods of time, or being obese or pregnant.

Women are at greater risk than men due to hormonal changes that relax vein walls during pregnancy, pre-menstruation or menopause. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy may also increase the risk, as do a history of blood clots and conditions that increase pressure in the abdomen, such as tumors, constipation and tight garments like girdles. Other factors include previous vascular surgery and exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Symptoms
The first physical symptom of varicose veins is usually their appearance. As the disease progresses, the legs begin to feel heavy, tired and achy, and these symptoms worsen with prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Muscle cramping may be accompanied by a burning or throbbing feeling in the lower legs. Varicose veins can also cause a change in skin color (known as stasis pigmentation), dry and thinning skin, inflammation of the skin, open sores, and bleeding.

Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose vein before and afterGwinnett Medical Center Imaging uses VenaCure EVLT™ (endovenous laser therapy) to eliminate unsightly varicose veins with no hospital stay, minimal-to-no scarring, no lengthy recovery time and minimal-to-no side effects.

The VenaCure EVLT system uses targeted laser energy to seal the varicose vein shut and help you look and feel better fast. In addition, some benefits of treatment for varicose veins using VenaCure EVLT include:

  • Coverage from most insurance providers
  • Treatment in less than an hour
  • Up to 98% success rate
  • Immediate symptom relief
  • Return to normal activity immediately—with little or no pain
  • No general anesthesia or hospitalization
  • Minimal-to-no scarring

Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Lawrenceville, Duluth or Hamilton Mill.