Do you experience any of the following?
Over 40 million Americans suffer daily with painful, swollen legs as a result of venous disease. This condition is the result of faulty valves in the veins and is called Venous Insufficiency. In a healthy vein, there are one way valves that allow the blood to move toward the heart, but not away. In a diseased vein, these valves do not work properly, allowing the blood to fall downward in between heartbeats. This back and forth motion of blood leads to an increased venous blood pressure resulting in inflammation of the tissues around the vein. This inflammation can cause leg pain, swelling, bulging varicose veins, heaviness, restlessness, cramps, skin discoloration, numbness, tingling, ulcers, Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots. Left untreated, this condition only worsens over time.
Heredity is the number one risk factor for venous disease. If your parents had varicose veins, you have an 89% chance of developing them. Next to heredity is gender. Women, especially those that have had multiple pregnancies, are three times more likely than men to develop venous disorders. Additionally, professions that require long periods of sitting or standing, increase one’s risk for venous disease. Age is also a risk factor. While older people are at a higher risk for venous disease, it can start as early as childhood.
The treatment for this disorder is called endovenous thermal ablation. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter is inserted into the diseased vein by way of a small (2-3 mm) incision. Heat is applied to the vein walls causing it to close. Your body then naturally re-routes the blood through other healthy veins. The procedure is done under local anesthetic and is covered by most insurance carriers, including Medicare. Patients walk out of the vein center and return to their normal activities the same day.