Varicose Veins

Jane Smith, MD -  - Internist

VeinCare of Central North Carolina

Jane Smith, MD

Internist & Phlebologist located in Raleigh, NC

Upwards of 50 million people -- men and women alike -- have varicose veins, but many are unaware that they have them because they don’t have noticeable bulging veins or significant symptoms. However, even without symptoms, varicose veins can lead to complications such as blood clots, bleeding, or ulcers. At VeinCare of Central North Carolina, Dr. Jane Smith, Internist and Phlebologist, specializes in treating varicose veins with a multistage, systematic treatment plan to restore proper circulation. To find out more, call to schedule a consultation or book your appointment online to visit the office in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Varicose Veins Q & A

What causes varicose veins?

When the muscles in the feet and calves weaken, the muscle in the vein walls and the valves weaken, blood falls backward and pools in the weakened veins. That entire process produces varicose veins.

Behind that weakening can lie numerous factors, including:

Genetics

A family history of either spider veins or varicose veins is believed to be the cause of this condition. Although other factors play a role in the deterioration of veins, heredity is the number one factor in the development of varicose and spider veins.

Age

As you age, your veins lose elasticity, affecting the muscle wall and the valves which no longer function properly.

Weight

If you’re overweight, you’re more likely to develop varicose veins, since the excess weight puts too much pressure on your leg veins.

Inactivity

Inactivity, while not the cause of varicose veins in and of itself, is a significant risk factor for the deterioration of varicose veins. Exercise, leg elevation, and compression stockings can help relieve the pain and potentially prevent your condition from getting worse.

In rare cases, other conditions cause varicose veins, such as pressure from enlarged blood vessels in the pelvis or external compression from a mass in the abdomen.

What’s the connection between pregnancy and varicose veins?

Although pregnant women can develop varicose veins, 50% of women who have varicose veins have never been pregnant.

During pregnancy, several factors contribute to the development of varicose veins. Female hormones relax the walls of the veins, cause the valves to weaken and be less effective, and allow backward flow of the blood. Also, the marked increase in blood volume and the enlarging uterus put pressure on the veins of a pregnant woman.

What are the treatment options for varicose veins?

Dr. Smith treats varicose veins by employing a multi-stage, systematic treatment plan to restore healthy blood flow to the vein side of the circulation. While Dr. Smith customizes the treatment plan to each patient’s unique situation, typically the treatment is done in three phases:

  • Phase I: Laser ablation to seal off and eliminate the upper segments of varicose veins.
  • Phase II: Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy to treat the remaining abnormal branches.
  • Phase III: Visual sclerotherapy using instruments like Veinlite™ to treat visible veins.

Dr. Smith is highly experienced in treating varicose veins and will walk you through your options. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book your appointment online.