People often think varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem. But they can be symptoms of vein diseases like chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). At his practice in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, double board-certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist, Yosef Golowa, MD FSIR, specializes in minimally invasive varicose vein treatments. These include sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation.
Call Dr. Golowa’s office today or book an appointment online to benefit from his expertise in nonsurgical varicose vein treatments.
Varicose veins usually appear on your legs and can be skin-colored but are more often red, blue, or purple. The veins are swollen and look twisted, and often stand out from your skin as they get worse.
Varicose veins develop when you have a blood circulation problem. The cause is usually chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which affects the valves in your veins. Valves are tiny gateways along the length of your veins. They open to let blood through, then close after each pulse to stop the blood from going in the wrong direction.
When you have CVI, the valves don’t work like they should because they’re weak or damaged. Blood trickles back through one or more valves and collects, forming varicose veins. This is a particular problem in the legs because gravity is pulling down all the time while your blood is trying to get back up to your heart.
In addition to varicose veins in your legs, you can also get them in your anus (hemorrhoids or piles) and pelvis (pelvic congestion syndrome). Men can get varicose veins in their scrotum (varicoceles).
Varicose veins might not cause any problems. As they get worse, they can become more troublesome. Varicose vein symptoms in the legs include:
While varicose veins are a cosmetic problem for most people, they can develop into a severe medical condition.
Severe varicose veins are a sign of advanced CVI. The tissues in your legs might weaken and break down, leading to sores forming. These sores (venous stasis ulcers) are open wounds that can take many months to heal. They require specialized wound care to prevent infection and encourage healing.
Infected ulcers can cause tissue death (gangrene) and bone infections (osteomyelitis). In some patients, the only solution is amputation.
Not long ago, treating varicose veins involved surgically removing them (vein stripping). Fortunately, there are now several far less painful treatments to choose from. Dr. Golowa specializes in minimally invasive vein treatments, including:
A sclerosant is a liquid or foam that Dr. Golowa injects into your varicose veins. The sclerosant irritates the vein walls and collapses them, sealing off the diseased veins.
Ablation uses laser or radiofrequency energy to collapse the vein walls. Dr. Golowa inserts a catheter (a slim tube) into an ankle or knee vein, feeding it along to the varicose vein. He heats the vein so that it seals, stopping blood flow.
These outpatient treatments for varicose veins cause significantly less pain and inconvenience than surgery and work on most veins. After treatment, the veins break down and disappear. The blood they used to carry takes a different route along the many other veins in your legs.
Call Yosef Golowa, MD, FSIR, today or book an appointment online to find the right treatment for your varicose veins.