Many people attribute varicose veins or "spider veins" to age. Women often find them embarrassing. But, they can be painful, and even lead to health risks if left untreated.
It's estimated that 40 percent of adult women have varicose veins and 20 percent of men also show symptoms of venous insufficiency. The cause of venous insufficiency is a degeneration of the valves in the veins that carry blood back to the heart and lungs. When the valves fail to work properly, blood can pool in the veins, causing them to dilate and become visible. Genetics and age play a role in the condition, but so does gender. Females more commonly show signs of the disease than men and pregnancy is thought to be a contributor.
Whether the condition is purely a cosmetic issue or a health risk must be determined by a physician. If there are additional symptoms such as numbness, swelling, pain or soreness, then the condition is more likely to necessitate medical attention and will likely be covered by insurance. If the condition proves to be only cosmetic in nature, then insurance may not apply.
Several Treatment Options Offered
There are several treatments available and the condition can often be treated in the doctor's office setting. For superficial "spider veins" sclerotherapy may be used, which involves injecting a solution into the vein, causing the vein walls to scar shut and redirect the blood to normal veins. Because the vein is no longer active, it becomes invisible.
For treating larger veins, the clinic performs phlebectomy or endoluminal laser ablation surgery.
After treatment, patients are able to return to normal activities the same day or the following day. Patients may experience only minimal discomfort or no pain at all following their procedure.
Patients wear compression stockings during waking hours for two weeks following treatment. Most patients prefer to have these procedures done during the winter months to conceal the compression stockings.
While many places offer variations of the treatment, few in the region have the breadth of vascular disease treatment experience as Salina Regional's chief cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon.
"Many people find comfort in knowing I treat the whole spectrum of cardiovascular disease," says Dr. John Kelemen. "I'm not limited in the magnitude of intervention I can use. I treat everything from the superficial easy to life threatening."
GET A CONSULTATION
Call Salina Regional's Vein Clinic at 785-493-VEIN (8346) for a consultation.
501 S. Santa Fe, Suite 200
Salina, KS 67401