What are Vein Problems?

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Vein problems explained!

Vein problems are very common and have a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms can range from leg pain or leg swelling to the skin starting to darken and form a wound on your leg. Each symptom comes with it’s own set of problems and are all caused by the same medical condition. The reason you have these symptoms is because of Venous Reflux (Venous Insufficiency). Venous reflux is a medical condition where blood within the veins no longer flows in one direction, against gravity, towards the heart. Venous reflux occurs when the one-way valves and vein walls become damaged or weakened allowing blood to flow the reverse direction back towards the ankle and feet. Over time this causes pressure to build within the veins causing symptoms such as: varicose veins, leg and ankle swelling, leg pain, night cramps, restless legs, and many other symptoms that can ultimately lead to skin breakdown, skin darkening or ulcers/wounds on the legs. Venous reflux is a progressive disease that gets worse over time if left untreated.

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Venous reflux accompanied by physical symptoms such as leg pain or swelling is a common medical condition. In fact, vein disease is 2 times more common than heart disease and 5 times more common than arterial disease. There are an estimated 50+ million Americans who suffer from venous reflux. An estimated 40% of women and 20% of men will experience the symptoms of venous reflux if left untreated. Of these, 20-25% of women and 10-15% of men will have visible veins including skin darkening, open leg wounds, spider veins and varicose veins. Not only are vein disorders often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, but many patients suffering from venous reflux are often told there is nothing that can be done other than wearing compression stockings or worse, vein stripping. Today, you no longer need to suffer from vein related issues. The good new is that, although this condition is very common, it’s also very treatable. Today’s treatments are much more elegant and can help aid in relief of your vein related suffering typically with little to no pain or downtime.

Visual Symptoms

  • Spider & reticular veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Ankle & leg swelling
  • Skin darkening/discoloration
  • Skin changes/thickening
  • Ulcers/wounds that won’t heal
  • Neuropathy

Other Symptoms

  • Leg pain & heaviness
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Night cramps in the legs
  • Leg aching & throbbing
  • Exercise intolerance & leg fatigue
  • Diabetes
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why do i have vein problems?

Vein problems develop when veins that are supposed to carry blood towards the heart weaken and leak blood in the wrong direction. When these valves become weak or damaged and don’t close properly, blood may flow backward, which is known as venous insufficiency or venous reflux. When these veins cannot handle the excess blood and the pressure transmitted from the leaking veins, they cause problems including spider veins, varicose veins, skin darkening and other symptoms.

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Possible Causes

  • Genetics – You are at higher risk for having vein issues and symptoms if other members of your family had them.
  • Gender – Women do get veins problems more often than men. Hormone changes related to puberty, pregnancy and menopause may increase a woman’s risk for venous reflux.
  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy, blood volumes increase and hormone levels change which can lead to venous reflux and varicose veins. The good news is that varicose veins tend to improve after you give birth.
  • Occupation – There is mild evidence that prolonged sitting or standing can increase risk for vein related issues.

Treatment Overview

We DO NOT do vein stripping. Vein stripping compared to newer treatments is like sending messages by pony express instead of text or email. Treatment options now are virtually painless, performed in-office, and typically take between 30-60 minutes. There is little to no down time after treatment as you are up and walking immediately after. Stepping into our Atlas Vein Care office is the first step to treating your vein concerns. Each patient is different and treatment plans will depend on a comprehensive consultation and exam with the certified vein specialist.

If you have any questions about the services we offer, please contact our office.

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