60% of all men and women suffer from some type of vein disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health. A quarter of the cases represent men, however predominantly women seek treatment for varicose veins. Varicose vein removal is a treatment that has evolved and the latest technological advancements have made this procedure a relatively simple and painless procedure. In fact varicose vein removal is a procedure that is covered my most insurance policies. Varicose vein laser treatment is considered one of the best treatment for varicose veins. This method is non-invasive vein treatment to date and far more advanced in comparison to the more traditional ways of treating varicose and spider veins.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are blood vessels which return blood from the legs to the heart. These veins are a more superficial system. The true venous system for the legs lies deeper and this is great because they can be removed without causing any harm to the circulatory system.
Spider veins are a minor form of varicose veins. Sun exposure can worsen spider veins as it breaks down collagen under the skin. Spider veins are the more delicate red and blue tracings that pop up under the skin, while varicose veins are lager and bumpy under the skin.
Both varicose and spider veins are the result of loose valves within the circulatory system. These valves are designed to keep the blood from flowing backward away from the heart. As these veins become loose and flabby they stretch and swell over time. This leads to an aesthetically displeasing aspect, as the swollen veins pop from under the skin.
These varicose veins can also cramp or throb at night and cause the sensation of weight. Itchy skin and painful ulcers may surface as the clear fluid from the expanded vessels makes its way into tissues chocking off efficient circulation as a result.
Generally speaking, varicose veins are more aesthetically displeasing than dangerous to one’s health.
What is the Cause of Varicose Veins?
There is no clarity as to what the underlying cause of varicose veins is, however it seems to be genetic in nature. A shift in hormones seems to trigger the formation of varicose veins as women going through hormonal changes such as: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause seem to experience the formation of varicose and spider veins. Women who take estrogen, progesterone and birth control pills seem to be at risk as well as these tend to weaken the vales and change circulation in the legs.
Pregnancy also adds pressure as the blood volume increases and causes veins to pop.
Aging, prolonged sitting and obesity are other causes of varicose veins.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnostic methods are far advanced compared to methods used in the past, allowing physicians to identify the best ways to treat varicose veins.
Striping is a method of varicose vein removal used in the past, yet it is hardly used anymore.
Lasers are now used to send bursts of concentrated light into the vein collapsing it.
Varicose Vein Laser Treatment
Lasers are used for varicose vein removal and it is considered one of the best non-invasive vein treatment available to date. As bursts of light are sent into the vein, it collapses and there is a slight tinge of discomfort as the light hits the skin. The physician cools the skin off quickly for comfort. Complete treatment of the vein may require more than one treatment.
Mechanism of Varicose Vein Laser Treatment
Laser or light energy is absorbed by the oxyhemoglobin resulting in the heating and collapsing of the treated blood vessels. Using the correct wavelengths and fluence the vascular lesion will be heated to above 70 degrees Celsius. This will cause the blood vessel to shrink and reduce in size.
Varicose vein laser treatment is relatively pain free and most patients are able to resume to normal activities soon after the procedure. The appearance of the treated vein will improve over a period of a month or so following the treatment. Depending on the location of your varicose veins, you may have to wear compression stockings or socks to prevent swelling.