One out of every two men suffer with varicose veins, according to a British study. Varicose veins are veins near the skin's surface that are enlarged and twisted. They are commonly found in the ankles and legs. While the veins aren't usually painful or dangerous, sometimes they can lead to other health issues. The problem starts when veins and valves in the legs become weakened. The valves help the blood flow from the legs up towards the heart. As people age, the valves and veins can become weak, blood collects in the legs, pressure starts to build, and the weak veins develop a blue tint.
Besides genetics and age, the condition can be caused by standing for long periods, or being overweight. Increased pressure on the legs can lead some veins to become large and twisted. Many men don't have any discomfort and usually only suffer mild symptoms from the condition. For many the main issue is the way the veins look and people's reaction to seeing them. This can make men feel particularly self-conscious.
Some men have symptoms associated with the condition; the most common mild symptoms are:
- Aching, burning, heaviness, pain, or tiredness in the legs. These symptoms can worsen when people sit or stand for extended periods of time.
- Swelling in the ankles and feet.
- Itching on the affected veins.
Some of the more serious symptoms include:
- Swollen legs.
- Swollen and painful calf after long periods of standing or sitting.
- Changes in the color or texture of the skin.
- Dry, thinned skin.
- Open sores or bleeding after minor bumps, bruises, or injuries.
These symptoms may be signs of deep vein thrombosis- blockages in the veins deep below the skin. Thrombosis is a dangerous condition which requires immediate treatment to prevent amputation of the legs, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and even death. Therefore, it's important men have their legs examined by an experienced physician if the veins begin to swell. The doctor will look for sores, changes in skin color, swelling, tender areas, and other signs the skin is beginning to break down and may order further tests.
Who Is At Risk
Men between 40 and 60 experiencing achy, heavy legs, bulging, puffy veins, claudication, burning, throbbing legs that cramp frequently, non-healing wounds, and pain while walking, should contact MIIGS immediately. This is especially true if they have risk factors like diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol, and hypertension, are smokers, not very active, obese or overweight.
Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Treatment
Most spider vein and varicose vein procedures are either performed in an outpatient facility or require just a short stay in the hospital. In most cases, general anesthesia is not required. The procedures take between 30 and 45 minutes and patients can return to work the next day. Some of the ailments treated at MIIGS include varicose veins, Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and Spider Veins. Men over 50 are particularly at a serious risk for developing these conditions as well.
Minimally Invasive Image Guided Specialists
For men living in or near Alexandria, Louisiana that have trouble with their veins, Minimally Invasive Image Guided Specialists (MIIGS) is a medical facility specializing in diagnosing and treating vein problems in the legs, and other parts of the body. It's also the only place in the region where interventional radiology can be found. The practice is run by Stuart Conrad Head, M.D., William D. Long M.D., DABR, CAQ, Stephen D. Rice, M.D., and Christian Scheuermann M.D., DABR, CAQ. All four are board-certified radiologists, have completed advanced training in Interventional Radiology and have many years of experience.
In addition to our physicians, MIIGS also has a staff of trained administrators and certified nurses. We offer patients a range of effective interventional radiology procedures. These advanced medical techniques and procedures employ the latest imaging equipment and targeted treatments. Some of the equipment our doctors use to diagnose and treat the conditions include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) ultrasound, and specialized X-rays. The techniques are minimally invasive, cause little pain or risk, and have very short recovery times.
If you think you or your loved one may need Spider Vein or Varicose Vein treatment, call MIIGS at 318-445-9700. Same day or next day appointments are available. The treatments offered by MIIGS are covered by insurance unless it's done for strictly cosmetic reasons.