Understanding vein disease can help you to avoid the risk factors.
What is Vein Disease?
Vein disease is a chronic and likely a long term disabling disease. Vein disease is a term that encompasses a range of disabilities. Veins are part of the Vascular System responsible for returning blood back towards the heart. To perform this function, each vein is equipped with a series of valves that keep blood flowing towards the heart and prevent a backflow of blood towards the foot and ankle region. When the vein walls or the valves inside the veins weaken, the result is a pooling of blood in the vein segment. Gradually the vein dilates, becomes visible and twists and stretches. With increasing dilatation of the vein the blood begins to flow backwards down the leg leading to increased venous pressure inside the vein resulting in a condition known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
Vein Disease is a progressive condition. Early on it can cause uncomfortable symptoms in the leg with no evidence of visible disease on the skin. These symptoms include aching, cramping, heaviness, itch, swelling and restless leg symptoms that affect an individual’s quality of life. As the severity of vein disease progresses, it will result in skin conditions such as spider veins, varicose veins, skin rashes, chronic inflammatory skin conditions with brownish discoloration, and hardening of the skin with increased thickness associated with extreme tenderness, that will eventually lead to ulcer formation. Ulcers in the skin represent an irreversible injury pattern, that, even when finally healed, are at risk for recurrence long term. Continued progression may lead to even more serious health issues such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Vein disease may not be visible at first, but as the severity of vein disease progresses, it will result in skin conditions such as spider veins, varicose veins, edema, hyperpigmentation, and hardening of the skin, that will eventually lead to ulcer formation.
The Three Types of Veins
These veins are located below the skins surface therefore not visible to the naked eye. They drain the blood flow from the skin directly into perforating veins.
Also called “communicating veins”, these carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins.
These veins are responsible for the majority of blood flow back to your heart. They are located inside of muscles, which help pump the blood through the veins when they contract.
Vein disease can occur in any of these types of veins and most commonly affects the veins of the legs. Because it is much harder to work against gravity and pump blood from the feet to the heart, these veins are more likely to become damaged and diseased. No longer is it necessary to go to the operating room under general anesthesia and have your veins stripped. The technology for treating vein disease has progressed substantially, making it possible for more people to undergo successful treatment of their condition. New procedures include endovenous laser treatment to treat larger skin veins deeper in the leg under local anesthesia and ultrasound guidance. Varicose veins are treated using microphlebectomy, where a tiny incision is made to remove these veins. Sclerotherapy is used to treat smaller spider veins through injection of a solution into these smaller veins. A surface laser is used in conjunction with sclerotherapy to treat spider veins. A laser is place on the surface of the skin delivering energy to the spider veins causing irreversible damage.
Dr. Darling believes in treating you as a whole person. He takes the time to get to know you personally and understand your quality of life issues. This enables us to restore your lifestyle to its full potential and address your cosmetic concerns. We want you to rediscover the original beauty of your legs and restore your health to full potential for years to come, thereby helping you to prevent chronic disease.