Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, and bulging discolored veins that are visible through the skin. They most commonly develop on the legs and can have a major impact on the limbs’ appearance.
Patients who notice varicose veins out of the blue often wonder how they developed them. Varicose veins may develop for several reasons, but the good news is there are effective treatments to eliminate them and restore the appearance of your legs.
When you’re dealing with varicose veins, there’s no better health provider to see than a vein specialist. Here at Advanced Heart and Vascular Associates, vein specialist Nader Chadda, MD, FACC, FSCA offers a minimally invasive treatment to eliminate varicose veins. ClosureFast™ uses radiofrequency energy to close problem veins and improve the appearance of your legs.
First, let’s dive into how and why varicose veins form.
To understand how varicose veins form, it helps to understand how veins and vein valves work. Veins transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart to receive oxygen. Veins have to work hard against gravity to get blood back to the heart. Leg muscles and valves within the veins play an important role in helping veins push against gravity to return blood to the heart.
Varicose veins develop when vein valves weaken or otherwise become dysfunctional. Instead of closing tightly to prevent blood from flowing backward, valves in people with varicose veins allow blood to flow backward. The pooling blood puts extra pressure on vein walls, which weaken over time under the excess pressure, giving way to the characteristic appearance of varicose veins.
Suddenly having varicose veins can cause distress. There are several risk factors for varicose veins, but what most puts you at risk is pressure on the veins in your legs. Here are some reasons varicose veins develop:
Varicose veins appear to have a genetic component. They tend to run in families. If you have a close family member with varicose veins, you’re more likely to develop them yourself. However, genes aren’t solely responsible for varicose veins, and having a relative with varicose veins doesn’t mean with certainty that you will develop them. A combination of factors is often at play.
Being overweight puts a burden on your body, and this includes your veins. The extra pressure from excess weight can weaken your vein valves and vein walls, resulting in varicose veins.
Varicose veins commonly appear during pregnancy. The extra weight to support pregnancy and a growing baby adds pressure. Thanks to gravity, the legs and their veins are under the most pressure.
Sitting or standing for too long is another reason varicose veins develop. Like excess weight, prolonged sitting or standing increases pressure on the veins in your legs. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are sitting or standing for most of the day, you’re at risk of developing varicose veins.
Knowing how you may have developed varicose veins can clue you in to what you need to do to avoid new ones from developing. While the ClosureFast system can effectively eliminate current varicose veins, it is possible to develop new ones. Making some changes, such as losing weight if you’re overweight and getting more physical activity, can help you avoid varicose veins in the future.
Untreated varicose veins not only worsen over time, but they’re also often a sign of underlying vascular issues. Treating varicose veins improves the appearance of your legs and boosts vascular health.
To learn more about treating varicose veins, call our team to schedule a visit with Dr. Chadda at one of our offices in Hudson, Brooksville, and Land O’ Lakes, Florida. We offer in-person and telehealth appointments. You can also request an appointment here on our website.