Yes, You Can Reduce Your Varicose Vein Risk: Here's How

Nov 02, 2023
Yes, You Can Reduce Your Varicose Vein Risk: Here's How
Varicose veins can look unsightly and feel itchy, swollen, or painful. Left untreated, they can even be dangerous. How can you reduce your risk for varicose veins?

Varicose veins look like blue or purple ropes winding their way around your calves and ankles. If you like wearing shorts and skirts, this can be problematic; the veins can be unsightly and make you self-conscious. You also have to worry if your varicose veins can lead to more serious issues.

At Apex Endovascular, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Dr. Shawn Ahmed provides a range of interventional vascular care to treat varicose veins. We also deliver vascular health support and education to help you prevent varicose veins.   

The dangers of varicose veins

Varicose veins are often products of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI); blood stops flowing one-way along approved routes and starts pooling up behind damaged valves. This causes the veins to bulge, stand out under the skin, and even become deformed and misshapen. 

Some people report that their varicose veins cause generalized pain in their calves or symptoms like itching, aching, or heaviness. Others experience individualized pain symptoms related to one or more specific veins.

If your varicose veins aren’t treated, you can end up with more problems; CVI and varicose veins may lead to deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Blood pooled behind a faulty valve in a deep leg vein can clot, and if a clot breaks free and starts to travel, it’s called an embolism. 

When an embolism gets stuck in your lungs, brain, or heart, it can cause a fatal event. That’s why it’s so important to reduce your risk for varicose veins, if possible, and seek treatment if any do appear.

Varicose vein prevention

Most of the things you can do to reduce your risk for varicose veins are lifestyle-related, meaning you can help prevent varicose veins from forming by following these steps:

1. Watch your weight

Extra weight puts more stress on the veins in your legs, making it harder for them to push blood back to your heart. Keeping a healthy weight can help you maintain your vein health.

2. Exercise regularly

You don’t have to suddenly become a bodybuilder or champion tennis player. Just try to move more. Even a short walk every day can help circulation and improve vascular health.

3. Sit properly

If you sit a lot, for work or leisure, try to prop your feet up so the chair doesn’t dig into the backs of your thighs and compromise blood flow. Likewise, don’t sit with your legs crossed.

4. Avoid tight clothing

Those skin-tight jeans or leggings may look great but they, too, can cause reduction of blood flow to your lower legs and problems with your veins. Limit wearing of such attire to events only lasting a few hours, then change into something looser.

Treating varicose veins

Dr. Ahmed can use several different treatment options to deal with varicose veins before they cause major health issues. Most work by closing off damaged veins and diverting blood flow to nearby healthy veins:  

  • Venaseal™: a medical grade adhesive used to close damaged veins
  • Radiofrequency vein ablation: RF energy directed through the skin heats the vein and creates scar tissue to close it
  • Varithena® sclerotherapy: an injectable foam irritant is used to collapse the walls of the vein
  • Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT): a tiny fiber is inserted directly into the vein for the application of laser energy for fast, precise vein closure
  • Phlebectomy: varicose veins removed in sections through tiny punctures in the skin while you’re under mild sedation

Worried about your risk for varicose veins? Give us a call at 970-508-8439, or book a consultation online today.