As a kid, the look of them on your mom’s and aunt’s legs and those of their friends’ freaked you out: big, blue, purple, or twisted varicose veins that bulged through their stockings. You swore you’d take better care of yourself. Watch your weight. Mind your skin. But decades later, your legs are riddled with unsightly varicose veins, too. How can you get rid of them?
Varicose Veins Aren’t Your Fault
You may have blamed your mom for her ugly varicose veins, but often broken, bulging, or twisted veins in your legs or face are simply the result of aging. The constant flow of blood through your veins year after year, decade after decade, wears down the valves that keep your blood flowing toward your heart.
When the valves break down and stop working, blood pools behind the valve. Sometimes the blood even flows backward, away from your heart. The sluggish, back-flowing blood puts pressure on your vessel walls, causing them to expand and twist. The result? Varicose veins on your legs and tiny, creeping spider veins (also known as telangiectasias) on your legs and face — particularly around your nose.
Of course, anything that increases the pressure on your veins increases the chances of the valves breaking down. Some events or conditions that increase your risk for unsightly, malfunctioning veins include:
- Long-term standing or walking
- Long-term sitting
- Female gender
And, last but not least, a family history of varicose veins makes it more likely that you’ll develop them, too. So just the fact that your mom and aunts had bulging veins pretty much sealed your fate.
Why You Should Get Rid of Varicose Veins
The main reason to remove or dissolve varicose veins is simply because they detract from the natural beauty of your legs and may make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Even if you’re toned and athletic looking, bulging veins are a giveaway of age and also make your legs look unhealthy.
However, in rare instances, untreated varicose veins can lead to serious complications. That’s why a trip to an expert plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Julio Garcia in Las Vegas, for varicose-vein removal is not just about looking good. It’s also about feeling good and preserving the health of your legs.
When you’ve had varicose veins for some time, the fluid build-up from the backed-up blood can gradually erode your tissues and cause your skin to ulcerate. The ulcers tend to develop in the ankle area and may be very painful.
Varicose veins usually appear near the surface of your skin, where the veins aren’t supported by your muscles and are therefore more prone to damage. However, sometimes you can develop varicose veins deep within your legs. These types of varicose veins are prone to blood clots. If you develop a blood clot in a varicose vein, you’ll notice that your legs suddenly look and feel swollen. This condition, known as thrombophlebitis, requires immediate medical attention.
Varicose and spider veins can also burst and bleed near the surface of your skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have varicose veins and notice any of the following changes in your legs:
- Discolored skin
When you’re ready to get rid of your varicose veins, Dr. Garcia offers a number of effective therapies. While it may seem a bit scary to actually remove or vaporize your veins, don’t worry. Varicose veins are not functioning and you suffer no ill effects when you remove them. In fact, your body quickly reroutes your blood to healthy, functional veins, which can actually improve your circulation overall.
Zap Your Veins With Lasers
If your varicose veins and spider veins are small enough (i.e., approximately less than the width of your finger), one of the easiest ways to get rid of them for good is with nonsurgical laser vein-removal treatments. Lasers, including intense pulsed light, direct heat at the vein to immediately vaporize it. You may need more than one treatment session to completely clear your unwanted veins.
Dr. Garcia adjust the settings on the laser to target the red, blue, or purple pigment in your unwanted veins. Your skin, your hair, and healthy blood vessels aren’t affected by the laser’s heat.
For larger veins, Dr. Garcia may need to numb your skin and make a small incision, and then insert a tiny catheter. The catheter zaps your varicose vein directly with laser energy.
Whether completely noninvasive, or minimally invasive, laser vein therapy usually takes less than an hour, depending on how large an area Dr. Garcia is treating. You’ll be encouraged to walk shortly after your procedure. Dr. Garcia may recommend compression garments to keep your veins closely and safely compressed.
Dr. Garcia can also treat and close veins in the office with a treatment called sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid or foam into the vein, forcing it to close, whither, and be re-absorbed into the body. The veins gradually disappear. You may need up to two treatments. You won’t require anesthesia and you can go home immediately afterwards.
When your varicose veins are extremely large, Dr. Garcia may recommend surgical removal. Depending on the size, location, and type of varicose veins, he’ll choose from a variety of techniques to remove your unwanted and unneeded veins. All vein-removal surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia only.
Keeping Your Legs Healthy and Vein Free
After Dr. Garcia removes your varicose and spider veins with lasers, sclerotherapy, or surgery, you want to be sure your lifestyle supports the continued health and beauty of your legs. If you have a genetic propensity for varicose veins, you can’t prevent them, but you can minimize the conditions that cause them. Preventive measures include:
- Exercise regularly to keep your circulation strong
- Eat a healthy diet that minimizes salt
- Maintain a healthy, stable weight to keep pressure off your legs
- Don’t wear high-heeled or narrow-toed shoes
- Take breaks from long-term sitting or standing
- Elevate your legs when at rest
- Wear sunscreen to prevent spider veins
- Don’t cross your legs
- Wear compression stockings to support your veins and muscles
When you want to get rid of unsightly blue, purple, bulging, or twisting veins and have beautiful, smooth, and healthy legs again, contact Dr. Garcia for plastic surgery Las Vegas in Nevada and varicose vein removal.