Venous disease, also known as vein disease, is a group of conditions that affects blood vessels. There are several types of vein diseases, ranging in severity from minor cosmetic issues to painful and potentially serious circulatory problems. Fortunately, vein doctors now provide safe and effective treatment for venous disease.
About Veins and Venous Disease
Venous disease occurs when the veins do a poor job of transporting blood.
Arteries carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, where cells use the oxygen and nutrients to function. As they work, the cells create carbon monoxide and other toxic byproducts. Veins carry away these toxins as the veins transport blood back up to the heart.
Gravity works with your arteries to push blood downwards towards your feet. Your veins must fight gravity to bring blood upwards towards your heart. One-way valves, located at various places inside your veins, help by trapping blood in small segments of the vein in between heartbeats. Strong veins walls also help by pushing against blood to keep it flowing.
When these valves fail, blood seeps backwards and accumulates in your lower legs and ankles. Accumulating blood presses against the veins and increases blood pressure there. Your body responds by dilating, or bloating, the veins. Veins with weak walls are particularly susceptible to bloating. Bloated veins cannot pump out this oxygen-poor, toxin-rich blood. Left untreated, these diseased veins may cause spider veins, varicose veins or other serious vein problems.
One of the most serious venous diseases is chronic venous insufficiency. Improper functioning of the valves and weak vein walls causes inadequate circulation and pooling of blood in your lower legs. Pooling saturates with toxic byproducts, so it cannot take on more carbon dioxide and toxic byproducts produced by the cells. This causes tissue swelling near the affected vein, skin color changes, and even the development of painful skin sores, known as venous ulcers.
Some people are more susceptible to venous disease. Certain risk factors increase your likelihood of developing venous disease. These risk factors include obesity, pregnancy, sitting or standing for long periods, and family history of vein disease.
Treatments for Venous Disease
Treatments for venous disease include endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), transdermal laser treatment that uses pulsed light therapy, sclerotherapy, and ambulatory phlebectomy. These procedures safely and effectively treat venous disease so vein surgeons rarely perform vein surgeries, such as ligation and vein stripping.
Your vein doctor may recommend one or more vein disease treatment, depending on the cause of your vein problem and the severity of symptoms. Vein doctors perform most modern vein disease treatments in outpatient vein clinics. Performed under local anesthesia, these procedures are nearly pain-free and produce excellent results. Recovery time is very short – you will walk immediate after your procedure and return to your regular activities almost right away.
If you have venous disease, make an appointment to discuss your treatment options.