Varicose Veins

Varicose veins develop near the surface of the skin, and they are usually easy to spot by their swollen, twisted, and knotted appearance. Symptoms include leg fatigue, aching, burning, night cramps, leg and ankle swelling, and pain, especially after standing for a long time. Women may experience an increase in symptoms during their menstrual cycle.

Many factors play a part in the development of varicose veins. They can affect adults of all ages, but there are certain factors that make you more likely to develop them:

  • Heredity – if your mother or father has varicose veins, there is a greater likelihood you will develop them.

  • Age – the development of varicose veins can happen at any age, but usually occurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, and peaks between 50 and 60 years.

  • Gender – females are affected approximately four times as much as males.

  • Pregnancy – during pregnancy varicose veins can form, but may disappear after the delivery of the baby. A vascular specialist can discuss your situation with you three to six months after birth and after you have stopped breastfeeding, and if needed, a treatment plan can be developed. 

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The veins that cause symptoms do not play an important role in transporting blood back to the heart; therefore, they can be closed off or removed without causing problems. In fact, removing them improves venous circulation.

Diagnosis is pain-free and is offered in our office. Treatment may begin with things you can do on your own under the direction of your doctor and progress to other options if necessary. Treatment options your healthcare provider may discuss with you include:

  • Elevating your legs when possible, keeping your feet positioned higher than heart level.

  • Exercising daily. Walking, climbing stairs, cycling and swimming keep your calf muscles in motion and improve circulation. 

  • Moving your legs frequently by taking short walks.

  • Using compression hose. This provides pressure on your legs which can aid in blood flow to the heart. 

  • Sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution into your legs to close smaller veins.

  • Laser or radiofrequency endovenous ablation, which heats the veins and results in their closure.

  • When other approaches are not effective, surgery is an option. 

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During your initial appointment, a member of our team will review your medical history, discuss your diagnosis, and answer any questions you may have. Varicose veins can cause both physical pain and cosmetic concerns, and our goal is to help you understand your treatment options and help you start on a path to looking and feeling your best.

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Most health insurance plans cover your initial evaluation, and many cover treatment of varicose veins. To find out if your insurance plan covers treatment for varicose veins, please call us at 207-973-6670. Your insurance may require a referral from your primary care provider. We can help you determine your next steps for care.

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