Spring’s Shorter Hems Call Attention to Varicose Veins
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March 12, 2013
Middletown, NY — For many women and men, the thought of exposing their legs in the warm spring weather leaves them cold. Unsightly varicose and spider veins cause them anxiety at minimum and pain and discomfort in more serious cases. Robert Feldman, MD, a Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery (HVAS) general surgeon and vascular surgery specialist, suggests a simple leg check to start the spring and get legs ready for warmer weather and shorter hemlines.
“Many adults do not realize that they have varicose veins, so they miss the opportunity to manage this very common condition before it becomes more serious,” says Dr. Feldman.
“Unfortunately, people often wait to see a doctor until they bulging, gnarled blue veins that cause throbbing, aching pain and discomfort, or more serious conditions such as skin ulcers, bleeding, and even blood clots.”
Dr. Feldman suggests doing this simple leg check for varicose vein warning signs to mark the first day of spring on March 20, and look for:
• Any veins that are swollen, red, very tender or warm to the touch
• Sores or a rash on the leg or near the ankle
• Thick skin on the ankle or calf that has changed color
• A bleeding varicose vein
“People who are having pains, even just a dull ache, or are distressed by the appearance of veins should not hesitate to get help,” says Dr. Robert Feldman.
“Lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise or compression stockings may be enough to relieve minor discomforts. Traditional and newer treatment options also are available for more serious cases.”
Unsightly veins that are emotionally distressing but cause no pain can be treated with a series of noninvasive surface laser or intense pulsed light treatments. Sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment, and radiofrequency occlusion – recommended for many cases – require only local anesthesia and can be performed at an ambulatory surgery center as a same-day procedure. Sclerotherapy, a simple and relatively inexpensive procedure, has been available since the 1930s. It involves an injection of saline or a specially made detergent directly into the vein that results in the vein disappearing gradually over three to six weeks. Endovenous laser treatment, a newer procedure, delivers pulses of laser light inside the vein, causing it to collapse. Radiofrequency occlusion is similar to endovenous laser treatment but uses radiofrequency energy instead.
Surgery under general anesthesia is preferred for treating larger varicose veins. In “vein stripping”, the surgeon ties off the affected vein and removes it through a very small incision that does not need stitches. Most patients can return home the same day. “With all the available options, no one should needlessly suffer vein distress,” advises Dr. Feldman.
“Treating varicose veins now means enjoying spring and the long, hazy, lazy days of summer just ahead.”
Hudson Valley Ambulatory Surgery, LLC, is located at 75 Crystal Run Road, Suite 225, Middletown, NY 10941. For additional information, please visit call 845-692-9900.