What are varicose veins?

Legs Walking

Common Myths and Misconceptions about Varicose Veins – There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to varicose veins. Here are some of the more frequent misconceptions surrounding the mystery of varicose vein disease.

They are just cosmetic – Contrary to popular belief, varicose veins are not just cosmetic. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to other medical problems. These can include leg swelling, skin changes, and even venous ulcers. These ulcers can be extremely difficult to treat, especially if you do not fix the underlying issue: the varicose veins.

Varicose veins are painless – Varicose veins can actually cause leg aching, tiredness, fatigue, heaviness, and even cramping. Many of these symptoms can be a sign that you have an underlying medical issue.

They are just a part of getting older – While increasing age dose increase your risk of varicose veins, a large part of the disease is genetic. If someone in your immediate family has varicose veins, or even spider veins, this puts you at an increased risk for developing them yourself. Other risk factors include female gender, pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and having a history of prior leg trauma.

Only older women get varicose veinsWhile it is true that more women tend to have varicose veins more than men,  older women are not the only ones to have them. Since hereditary plays a major factor in varicose vein disease, one can develop the disease at a young age, including as a teen. Also, it is estimated as high as 40% of men have the disease. However, women are more likely to seek treatment than men, as there is a popular misconception that varicose veins are only cosmetic.

Only those who are overweight have varicose veins – As mentioned above, being overweight is a risk factor for the development of varicose vein disease. But it is not the only reason people develop varicose veins. We have treated many patients who are young, active, and a healthy weight yet they still suffered from varicose veins.

An invasive surgery is the only way to get them fixed – Many people fear seeking treatment for their varicose veins because the only option that was available for many years was the dreaded vein stripping. This procedure has mainly been replaced with the less invasive endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy injections. Both of these procedures have no down-time, are minimally invasive, and can all be done in our office.

Insurance does not cover treatment – If you have an underlying medical issue it may meet something called “medical necessity.” This determination is made by your insurance and will vary from plan to plan. If the insurance company deems your varicose vein disease as “medically necessary,” the treatment may be covered. Our specialized staff will work with you and your insurance company to ensure that you receive the best care possible.

While these are just a few myths and misconceptions related to varicose vein treatments there are many others out there. Phlebology (the study and treatment of veins) has changed rapidly over the past couple decades. We hope that this article has helped to dispel some of those myths and misconceptions for you! If you have further questions, please call for your appointment today.

Written by: Chelsea Campbell, MSN, FNP-BC

Tagged with: , , ,

Posted in: Spider Veins, Varicose Veins


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