Not every patient that suffers from varicose veins will end up with venous leg ulcers. In some cases, varicose veins are merely an unsightly cosmetic concern that stops you from wearing shorts and affects your self-esteem. Some patients, however, will have to deal with physical discomfort related to varicose veins, including symptoms like aches, pains, itchiness, burning, cramps, heaviness of legs, and in time, issues like ulcers and bleeding. For these people, seeking minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment from the specialists at Metro Vein Centers becomes more than just a cosmetic pursuit; it’s a necessary medical intervention that can restore mobility and allow patients to return to their normal lives.
Whether you currently suffer from venous leg ulcers or your condition has worsened over time and you’re worried they might develop in relation to your varicose veins, you probably have some questions. What are venous leg ulcers and how do they develop? When are your varicose vein treatment options and why are they necessary? Finally, what can you hope to gain by eliminating varicose veins? Here’s what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about your varicose veins and venous leg ulcers.
Venous Leg Ulcers
Venous leg ulcers can be painful and lead to ongoing and serious medical concerns, but they don’t just spring up overnight. The causes and symptoms of venous leg ulcers are well-understood. The problem begins with pressure in the lower extremities.
When you suffer from venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins, what happens is your valves begin to weaken and malfunction, allowing blood flow that would normally be pushed onward to back up and pool. This is what causes the unsightly bulges and thick, ropy appearance of varicose veins. This condition increases stress on your veins, which could lead to issues like fluids oozing out of veins and into surrounding tissue, causing your legs to swell.
When this happens, your skin can begin to break down and this is when ulcers start to form, most commonly at the ankle, due to the influence of gravity. You’ll first notice redness and inflammation on the lower leg and eventually fluid will leak from the affected area. Dead skin will start to form and over time, wounds will develop and likely begin to bleed. These are venous ulcers, and they can be painful and understandably troubling.
The good news is that the board-certified specialists at Metro Vein Centers locations in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Texas are ready to help with in-depth diagnosis of your condition and minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment options that will help your ulcers to heal and have you back on your feet in no time.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
There are several treatment options to consider when you suffer from venous ulcers as a result of your varicose veins. When you visit the specialists at Metro Vein Centers, you’ll start with a painless and non-invasive Duplex ultrasound to examine blood flow, look for plaque or other issues, and assess the extent of your vein disease. If you’re suffering from venous leg ulcers, chances are your condition is quite advanced.
In some cases, patients can treat ulcers by resting, elevating the leg, keeping the affected area clean and bandaged, and wearing compression stockings, but these are stop-gap measures. They won’t treat the underlying causes of venous leg ulcers, only the symptoms, and eventually, you can assume that the ulcers will return.
It is for this reason that you should consider more permanent solutions provided by the qualified specialists at Metro Vein Centers. You no longer have to resign yourself to invasive and painful surgical procedures like vein stripping that entail a lengthy recovery. Metro Vein Centers offers minimally-invasive options like sclerotherapy, endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), and ambulatory phlebectomy, all of which are out-patient procedures that can be performed with local anesthetic, or potentially no anesthetic at all, as with many sclerotherapy sessions.
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of sclerosants into the veins, causing them to collapse and be reabsorbed into the body. EVLT uses lasers inserted into the veins to collapse them. Ambulatory phlebectomy is a procedure by which sections of varicose veins are removed through tiny incisions in the skin.
Most of these treatments can be completed in under an hour (although ambulatory phlebectomy could take longer, depending on the severity of the case). Often patients can get back on their feet within 24 hours, return to strenuous activities within 1-2 weeks, and see significant or even final results within about 4-6 weeks.
It’s important to treat not only the symptoms of venous leg ulcers, but also the causes. When ulcers go untreated, they can fester and grow, causing inflammation and damage to surrounding tissue and resulting in infection or other serious issues. This is why it’s so important to set up a free consultation with a specialist at Metro Vein Centers. When you understand all available varicose vein treatment options, you can take a proactive approach to treatment, starting with addressing your current condition and continuing by keeping an eye out for further symptoms so you can treat them early.
Benefits of Treatment
The board-certified physicians at Metro Vein Centers understand how difficult it can be to live with varicose veins, whether they are a cosmetic nuisance or they cause additional symptoms like aches, pains, and even venous leg ulcers. You should know that there is hope, and with proper treatment, you can not only remove unsightly varicose veins in order to regain your confidence, but you can eliminate the symptoms that are impacting your ability to fully live your life and participate in activities you love.
Even better is the fact that varicose vein treatments are often covered by health insurance. These treatments are commonly considered to be medically necessary because of the symptoms they cause (such as ulcers) and the risk factors they pose. Because of this, the minimally-invasive procedures offered by Metro Vein Centers may be partially or fully covered by insurance. You’ll have to contact your insurance provider to find out, but there’s a good chance your policy will provide the relief you seek from both varicose veins and the venous leg ulcers this condition can cause.