Varicose veins are one of the most prevalent cosmetic problems that can affect people even in their early 20s. The dark purple and blue veins visible from under the skin are unsightly and can cause pain and discomfort.
Though the health risks associated with this vein disease are rare, according to Harvard Medical School, some individuals may experience swelling, blood clots, and ulcers around the impacted veins.
For some people, varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem, and others who experience health issues consider it a major problem.
Are you wondering what doctor to consult for varicose veins? Read on to know more about this vein disease, and choose the right specialist to seek medical treatment.
If you have decided to take your first step towards beautiful and healthy legs, book an appointment with our board-certified doctors. Contact us at 833-483-4637 or fill out the patient exam form for the initial consultation and to know the treatment options.
What are Varicose Veins? Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors
Varicose veins are a type of venous disease that results in swollen blood vessels right under the skin’s surface. These veins mostly appear in the lower body because the walls in the legs become weak over time, which hinders the blood supply in the affected area. This results in purple and blue bulges on your feet, ankle, and legs.
While varicose veins are generally not painful, you might experience discomfort in the ankles. Some people even report leg cramps and rashes.
Let’s explore the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of varicose veins for a deeper insight into the health condition of the veins.
The primary cause behind varicose veins is high blood pressure. When the valves in the heart become weakened or damaged, they become unable to pump blood to and from some areas (especially the lower body).
When your veins stretch, the valves that keep the blood moving fail to work as they should. As a result, the sluggish blood pools inside the veins, causing them to enlarge and swell.
Age is the biggest reason the vein walls weaken and fail to support extra blood flow. Some other known reasons include:
- Restrictive clothing
- Excess weight
- Sitting and standing for longer periods
A Surprising Fact
According to a large-scale genetic study, heredity plays a crucial role in the etiology of varicose veins. This implies that individuals with a family history of varicosities are highly likely to experience this venous disease. Additional factors, such as excess body weight, can act as catalysts, exacerbating the condition.
The most telltale symptom of varicose veins is the visible web of dark blue veins in the skin. The veins can appear in one or several areas spreading across the legs and feet.
However, the symptoms of this vein disease can vary greatly from person to person. If you have varicose veins, you may also experience:
- Sores on the legs (affected area)
- Color changes in the skin (purple and dark blue)
- Sensation in the legs such as burning, heavy feeling, or aching
- Rashes (though they are rare)
These symptoms might not appear quickly, but you will eventually experience them at some point. In its severe stage, varicose veins can produce long-term swelling accompanied by rashes and tissue problems such as non-healing sores and ulcers.
Since the symptoms of the varicosities resemble some other medical problems and conditions, such as spider veins, it’s crucial to consult medical specialists in Brooklyn Park, MN.
⚠️ Risk Factors
Now that you know what varicose veins are and what they look like, it’s time to develop an understanding of the risk factors. Knowing about these factors will help you opt for treatment and take other preventive measures timely.
- Gender: Compared to men, women are more likely to experience varicose veins. Here the contributing factor is thought to be the female hormone.
- Damaged Veins: When the veins suffer traumatic damage, they become weak and unable to handle high blood pressure. When the blood starts polling up, these veins enlarge and swell.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: More than 80% of jobs in the United States involve sedentary activities, increasing the risk of developing varicose and spider veins. People with a family heredity of blood clots are more prone to developing them due to desk jobs. (Varicose Veins and Lifestyle Choices)
- Birth Control Pills: Some medications and treatments, such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, can cause varicose veins.
- Age: When the heart valves and the vein walls become weak, the risk of varicose veins increases. People in their 40s and above are more prone to this risk factor because of lack of activity and other factors such as age-induced illnesses.
The risk factors are not limited to these 5 reasons and largely vary from individual to individual, so it is essential to consult a vein specialist for a complete diagnosis, and suggestions on treatment options.
What Medical Professionals Treat Varicose Veins?
The choice of a medical professional for treating this vein condition depends on several factors, such as your unique requirements. In some cases with severe varicosities, certain specialists are more recommended than others.
Below you will find everything about the type of medical professionals that can treat varicose veins and whom to consider in your case.
Family Doctors and General Practitioners
Your primary care doctor can do the initial evaluation to diagnose varicose veins. They can also offer you recommendations on lifestyle changes to help relieve the symptoms to some extent.
Besides that, your family doctor can recommend you to a specialist if the case is severe and requires medical intervention.
✍️ Note: Most general practitioners do not specialize in radiology and ultrasounds, so they cannot treat varicosities. If you are sure about your condition and have already got it diagnosed, it is essential to consult vascular radiologists.
Dermatological surgeons typically treat skin conditions which also include varicose and spider veins. These medical professionals are qualified to employ laser or sclerotherapy methods to treat vein-related problems.
Dermatology specialists use treatments that are generally non-invasive and can treat varicose veins in their initial stage.
Also known as vein specialists, these medical professionals are highly trained to help combat several venous diseases that occur in the vascular system.
Interventional or vascular radiologists have an additional 6 to 7 years of specialized training in procedures like ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRIs to diagnose conditions.
They have the training and experience to perform procedures like radiofrequency ablation or EVLT (endovenous laser treatment) to treat varicose veins.
However, it is essential to consider board-certified and fellowship-trained medical professionals with a history of treating varicose veins. It would be great to consult a doctor with JCAHO-accredited medical facilities for an excellent treatment experience.
These doctors specialize in treating multiple vascular conditions that impact the blood vessels, including spider and varicose veins. They can perform all minimally-invasive and surgical procedures designed to remove varicose veins (if they are not treatable).
It is important to note that you should only consult with vascular surgeons when your vascular radiologist recommends it. In most cases, varicose veins are treatable using a minimally-invasive procedure, so you do not have to undergo vascular surgery.
What Doctor Should You Choose?
Always begin by consulting a primary care doctor, as they can diagnose varicose veins. Next, they can recommend you to the right specialist depending on the severity of the venous disease and the symptoms you are experiencing.
You can also consult a reputable vascular radiologist in Brooklyn Park, who can diagnose and treat most cases of varicose veins.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
There is a wide range of varicose vein treatment options you can choose from. In the initial stages, you can stop it from spreading using non-invasive methods such as exercising. These methods do not treat the blue visible veins but offer temporary comfort.
If you are too self-conscious or are affected by this venous disease, you can go with minimally-invasive procedures.
Here are more details on both non and minimally-invasive procedures that work well for varicose veins:
Non-invasive Approaches (Less effective)
If the varicose veins are in their initial stage, you can stop them using non-invasive methods. However, you should only follow these approaches after consulting primary care doctors or phlebologists.
Sitting for long hours is a major risk factor for varicose veins, and you can combat it by investing time in self-care. Exercises such as raising the legs when sitting or lying down can help the blood circulate properly.
In addition to moving the pooled blood, these exercises can help ease the pain of varicosities while reading swelling.
Another proven method to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins is wearing compression stockings all day. These stockings squeeze your legs, helping the leg muscles and vein move blood more efficiently.
Some doctors even recommend these stockings after a minimally-invasive process to prevent the venous disease from appearing again. You can easily find compression stockings in the market, but we suggest consulting a medical practitioner before buying a pair.
Home remedies are sometimes ineffective as you must follow them for a considerable time to see results. Also, when the varicose veins are left untreated, their severity extends with time, leaving no choice but to undergo minimally-invasive or surgical procedures.
Minimally-invasive Procedures (Highly effective and painless)
When most people realize they need treatment for varicose veins, they have already crossed the initial stage. The minimally-invasive methods such as laser treatment can eliminate the visible marks while alleviating the pain. Plus, there is minimum to no downtime compared to surgical interventions.
After a diagnosis, interventional radiologists might recommend any of these treatment options.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (Ideal for larger varicose veins)
EVLT or Endovenous Laser Treatment, is one of the best treatments for large varicose veins. Also known as endovenous laser ablation or endovenous laser therapy, this method works great if you want to remove varicosities because they look unsightly due to health issues.
Besides removing the visible veins, EVLT is also useful for alleviating pain and other associated symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, and skin irritation.
A day after the EVLT procedure, you can resume your normal activities as recommended by the radiologist. The usual recovery time is 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity of the vein condition.
Sclerotherapy (Ideal for small varicose veins)
Another minimally-invasive and least painful method to treat varicose veins is sclerotherapy. A certified medical practitioner injects a solution into the damaged vein during the procedure.
The special solution causes the blocked or swollen vein to scar, which forces the blood present in the vein to reroute to a healthy vein. After some time, the diseased veins start collapsing, and the body absorbs it, so there are no visible scars after the recovery period.
Unlike EVLT, sclerotherapy requires no downtime, and the mild discomfort you might experience will fade away within 2 to 6 weeks. Some doctors require patients to wear compression stockings for easy recovery.
Saphenous Vein Ablation
Equally effective as surgical methods such as varicose vein excision, this method does not require incisions and can be performed in an outpatient setting. A vein specialist uses radiofrequency or laser energy to produce heat in the affected area, which seals off the varicose veins.
The veins further collapse and are gradually absorbed by the body. This least-invasive method has less downtime, and you can recover fully in about 4 weeks.
If the veins are too large to be shut off using heat and EVLT, your doctor might recommend micro phlebectomy. Although, it is also a minimally-invasive procedure but involves microscopic incisions.
A doctor makes tiny incisions to remove the veins through the leg’s surface. Microphlebectomy is highly effective in treating large varicose veins, especially in cases where sclerotherapy seems ineffective.
How to Find the Right Vein Specialist and Treatment Facility
After determining what vein specialist to consult, it’s imperative to choose a qualified doctor and treatment facility. Consulting a certified medical professional offers several benefits, such as recommending you the most effective treatment and the results lasting longer.
Find a medical professional who:
- Has a well-equipped and JCAHO-accredited facility with the latest equipment
- Is a board-certified vascular radiologist to perform varicose and spider vein treatment
- Understands your unique needs and make you feel comfortable
- Accepts your insurance
Here are some tips for finding the most-trusted doctor to treat your varicosities.
Ask for Referrals
If someone in your circle has undergone varicose vein treatment, you can ask them about their experience with the doctor. Similarly, ask your friends, family, and general practitioners for recommendations. This will help you create a list of the top vein specialists in your area.
Research Experience and Credentials
Spend time researching the doctor’s experience and credentials. Make sure the medical professional is board certified in their specialty and treats venous conditions on a regular basis.
The more experience the medical professional has performing vein treatments, the better prepared the doctor is to anticipate and avoid complications.
You can also go the extra mile by confirming that the doctor is in the good standing state with federal and state agencies and has no history of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims.
✨ Key Considerations -“Dr. Ron Mark, our chief doctor, has years of experience in treating varicose and spider veins. Also, he is one of the few board-certified physicians fully licensed in 50 states across the country. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ron, and make your varicose vein condition a thing of the past.”
Why a Board-Certified Doctor?
Choosing a board-certified doctor for treating varicose veins offers numerous advantages. These specialists possess extensive training and expertise in vein diseases, understanding the complexities of blood vessels and managing vascular conditions.
They provide comprehensive care, including pre and postoperative support, ensuring safety and optimal outcomes. With continuous education, adherence to high standards, and recognized expertise, board-certified doctors offer peace of mind and reliable treatment for varicose veins.
Examine Treatment Facility’s Performance and Its Location
If you are undergoing EVLT or any other minimally-invasive treatment, you must confirm that the doctor has a qualified team and performs the procedures in a fully-equipped treatment facility.
Also, make sure the location is nearby your residence, so you can visit for regular checkups or post-procedure care without affecting your schedule.
Mark Medical Care has 6 facilities at prime locations across New York, and you can book your appoointment at any location that’s accessible to you.
Interview the Doctor
Next, call the doctors on your list and request for a consult appointment. This will be your chance to understand how the doctor deals with the patients and how well they understand your preferences.
After the consultation, ask yourself if you were comfortable with the interventional radiology expert or dermatology surgeon and if they respected your opinions. Also, pay attention to how well the doctor addresses your questions.
Know About Your Insurance Coverage
Lastly, your insurance coverage is a practical matter, so it’s important to see if you can avail of insurance benefits for the treatment. Ask the doctor if they participate in your insurance plan before scheduling the treatment appointment with them.
Keep in mind your insurance coverage should not be a deciding factor here, so only choose a vein specialist that treats your varicose veins without any complications.
The Benefits of Getting Varicose Vein Treatment from a Vascular Radiologist
Apart from reduced risk of complications, there are several advantages of consulting a radiologist for diagnosis and treatment purposes. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Advanced Treatment Options
When you visit a vein specialist, you get advanced treatment options. The modern techniques these doctors use are less invasive and require minimal downtime.
For example, sclerotherapy requires less downtime compared to EVLT, so you get multiple options to balance your personal life while treating varicose veins.
- Customized Treatment Plans
Every patient is unique, and vascular radiologists understand this pretty well. After a thorough evaluation of your condition and after the counseling stage, these doctors tailor a treatment plan to meet your individual needs.
A customized plan reduces the risks of complications while increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome, as the doctor already knows about your medical history.
- Comprehensive Care
Most minimally-invasive varicose vein treatments do not require hospitalization. Still, the medical office of board-certified specialists are designed to offer complete care to the patient.
They not only perform the necessary vein procedures but also offer pre-treatment evaluations, post-treatment follow-ups, and ongoing management of your condition. If any complication arises after the process, comprehensive care helps you deal with it.
- Optimal Cosmetic Results
When you opt for a reputed medical professional, you do not have to worry about scarring. These doctors use medically-certified equipment and have the experience to eliminate varicose veins to improve the aesthetic appearance of your legs.
- Reduction of Symptoms
Apart from the cosmetic results, vascular radiologists also focus on relieving the symptoms. The doctors treat varicose veins and the underlying cause alleviating pain, discomfort, and other symptoms you experience.
- Long-term Management
Varicose treatment is not something you can undergo every day, and that makes choosing a vein specialist even more essential. The practitioners remove bulging veins carefully so there are no residues left. Also, the post-treatment management plan that these doctors provide helps you sustain the results for a long.
Varicose vein removal is not just about the physical appearance, it is about your health, so make an informed decision by partnering with the best doctor you can trust. Understand how the treatment works and the results you can expect to prepare yourself for a great outcome.
When to Consult a Doctor for Varicose Veins?
Since unsightly varicose veins do not usually affect health, some people refrain from consulting a doctor, which triggers the conditions to reach a severe stage.
When you start seeing visible purple and blue veins on your legs, feet, or ankle, you must consult a vascular surgeon right away. Not doing that can result in varicose vein complications, such as:
The varicose veins in the legs are prone to bleeding if facing circumstances like bruising or hitting the leg against a surface. If left untreated, it can become difficult to stop the bleeding.
- Venous Ulcer
These tiny ulcers appear on the lower part of the leg. When the blood pressure increases, the damaged veins release fluid into the skin, which gets collected there and becomes thick over time. The skin breaks down due to inflammation and appears in the form of ulcers,
It is a medical terminology for inflammation caused in the veins due to blood clots or blockages. The condition leads to pain and swelling in the affected area. In some patients, the affected leg feels warm to the touch and has a reddish appearance.
- Pulmonary Thromboembolism
When the blood clots present in the varicose veins break and move to the lung veins, it is known as pulmonary thromboembolism. The condition can lead to breathlessness due to the decreased oxygen in the blood. Unlike other conditions, this can be life-threatening in severe cases.
Do not overlook venous diseases, especially varicose and spider veins. Make sure to get the right care on time to prevent the symptoms, and to maintain your gorgeous legs.
Mark Medical Care: Discover Freedom from Varicose Veins
Whether it’s varicose veins or venous ulcers, Mark Medical Care can treat a variety of vein conditions to your satisfaction. Our board-certified doctors ensure that you achieve your desired beauty goals while eliminating the symptoms of varicosities from your life.
We offer a range of varicose vein treatment options, such as EVLT, varithena, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy, in our 6 medical offices across New York.
Call us today at 833-483-4637 for more information about our varicosities treatments, and schedule an appointment.
From determining the stage of your varicose vein condition to providing you with the best treatment options, we do everything to help you get those beautiful legs back.