Minimally Invasive Techniques
- Compression stockings (when upright)
- Leg elevation whenever possible
- Regular exercise (walking is best!)
- Avoid prolonged standing
- Avoid heavy lifting
- Lose weight
Many times, patients with less severe varicose veins symptoms are recommended to try conservative methods before undergoing more drastic surgical measures. Conservative treatments are do not involve scalpels or medications and you can do them yourself. Patients are often advised to make lifestyle changes, such as dieting, exercising and wearing support stockings. These tactics have shown effective in reducing swelling and pain in the legs and in delaying the progression of venous disease.Conservative treatment will not rid you of spider or varicose veins that are already there, but it can keep you from getting more. It’s also beneficial if you are not able to have surgery for any reason. Varicose veins are almost a fact of life, but you can help ease symptoms and keep them from getting worse with these treatments.
Depending on your situation, the first approach before offering varicose vein treatments is the use of compression stockings, or also known as compression hoses or compression socks. Compression stockings are a simple, inexpensive way to treat varicose veins. These specially fitted hose are designed to reduce the pooling that occurs in spider and varicose veins. Although wearing hose won’t eliminate varicose veins, they can help alleviate symptoms caused by the veins, such as aching, heaviness, and swelling as well as help prevent worsening of the veins. Wearing compression stockings can also reduce the risk of developing blood clots from long plane or car rides. These stockings have been proven to help with the treatment of varicose veins.
Compression stockings are made of strong elastic material and fit tightly at the feet and gradually become less tight at the knee/thigh. The pressure in the stockings is graded and this allows for the stockings to constantly squeeze the leg muscles. This motion helps to drive blood back to the heart, reduce swelling in the feet and prevent blood clot formation. Please note that compression stockings should be strong but not very tight. If you have weak hands or arthritis, getting these stockings on may be difficult. There are devices to make putting them on easier.The stockings apply pressure in a gradient fashion- highest around the ankle with less pressure as they go up the leg. This helps milk the blood back up the leg towards the heart. They come in various strengths and should be prescribed by your physician. There are a number of brands to choose, prices vary, you pay more for a certain name brand. They can range in price from about $25-$125. We will either supply you with hose or give you a prescription to be used in a medical supply store, depending on your individual situation. Over-the-counter hose offer less compression than do the prescription variety and may not be adequate. Please remember that compression stockings are worn all day.
The compression stockings we have are affordable and offer adequate support. You won’t have to say to yourself “my legs hurt” once you go through our compression therapy.
What are Veins?
We have all seen the small veins that seem to come out of nowhere. Perhaps they are on the tip of our nose, or the backs of our knees and legs. No matter where they occur, spider veins and the larger, more noticeable varicose veins are at best aesthetically frustrating, and at worst, seriously painful and debilitating. But what are they and why do they occur?
Varicose veins become large and bulging once that particular vein stops being able to perform properly and force blood upwards against gravity toward the heart. In a healthy vein, this is normally accomplished through elastic vein walls and small valves within the veins. As is natural, the blood will pool in the vein, causing it to look lumpy and rope like. But those with varicose veins may also feel a heavy sensation in their legs, and have pain and tenderness near the vein, as well as swelling in the legs. All are related to the vein not being able to return blood to the heart and through the deep venous system.Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are small, superficial veins that are dilated. Most often treated for cosmetic reasons, spider veins are also caused by poorly functioning veins. However, they can be associated with more complex venous conditions.Treatments for both conditions will vary depending on severity and the patient, but can include sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, conservative treatment or a combination. What every patient should know is that both conditions can be treated successfully, easily and with minimal downtime.