It’s a common misconception that only women get varicose veins. The truth is, men get them, too. In some cases, varicose veins may be linked to a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. This condition often causes severe pain from varicose veins in the legs. (i)
Painful varicose veins can prevent you from staying active. They may also put you at risk for other serious health complications. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the causes and risk factors for varicose veins and seek out a vascular specialist for treatment. Read on to learn more and to discover how one man successfully resolved his varicose veins with treatment from a leading interventional radiologist.
Jon D, a Varicose Veins Patient
Jon D, a 35-year-old family man with eight children had been in the military for 12 years. His job requires frequent air travel and the prolonged sitting on an airplane had kept him from stretching and moving around. After several years, he developed unsightly varicose veins that ached and were numb with tingling sensations.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Some people with varicose veins don’t experience any painful or troubling symptoms, though they may notice that certain veins in their legs seem swollen or darker than usual. These varicose veins may only be an aesthetic concern. (iv)
In addition to the aching and numbness Jon experienced, other varicose vein symptoms may include: (i)
- Heaviness or swelling in the legs
- Burning sensation
- Leg cramps
- Leg ulcers
Seeking treatment from a vascular specialist
After more than six months of pain and discomfort, Jon’s symptoms became too intense for him to handle. He had to find a solution.
Based on the recommendation by a friend, Jon sought care from Dr. Richard Gray at Azura Vascular Care Northeast Philadelphia. “Dr. Gray knew exactly what he was talking about and made me feel comfortable right away,” Jon reported. During the consultation, Dr. Gray carefully explained the available treatment options, providing the information the patient needed to help him choose the best treatment for his varicose veins.
After a period of wearing compression stockings, Jon returned to the center for an ultrasound to examine his veins. He then underwent a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to correct his varicose veins.
Varicose Vein Risk Factors
Although anyone can develop varicose veins, certain groups of people are at higher risk. Risk factors include:
- Increased age (ii)
- Obesity (ii)
- Family history (ii)
- Previous leg injury (i)
Varicose veins are sometimes hereditary. If a close family member has had varicose veins, you may be more likely to get them too. (ii)
Long periods of sitting or standing can also trigger varicose veins. Sitting or standing for many hours at a stretch can interfere with healthy circulation. Over time, this might increase your likelihood of developing varicose veins. (i)
Frequent travel can also limit your mobility and increase your risk for varicose veins.
Prompt treatment is crucial for restoring healthy circulation. Treatment can also help relieve pain and allow patients to return to an active lifestyle. Fortunately, people with varicose veins have many options for treatment.
Treatment Options for Pain from Varicose Veins in Legs
Some patients with varicose veins are nervous about seeking treatment. They may have heard about invasive surgeries and lengthy recovery times. But today, varicose veins can often be treated with minimally invasive procedures at an outpatient clinic.
Possible varicose vein treatments may include: (iv)
- Endovenous laser therapy
- Vein stripping
Most procedures involve tiny incisions and minimal scarring. Many of the procedures take less than an hour and require only local anesthesia. (vi) Patients can often return to their normal activities soon after treatment.
Jon’s treatment was successful, and he experienced immediate improvement. “It was great,” Jon said. “No pain. As soon as I got off the table, they made me walk around, and I could feel the difference.”
Life After Varicose Veins Treatment
Today, Jon enjoys an active lifestyle. He has returned to running, playing basketball, boxing, and chasing after his eight children. “I don’t have any pain at all,” he reports. “No discomfort. I feel free to do any activity I want.”
Men and Varicose Veins
Many men, just like Jon, suffer from painful varicose veins. Even though men are only slightly less likely than women to develop varicose veins, they tend to be much less likely to seek treatment for the problem…until, like Jon, symptoms begin to limit their ability to work or spend time with their family. (v)
If your varicose vein symptoms are linked to chronic venous insufficiency, a progressive condition, it will likely become worse. Chronic venous insufficiency is one of the most serious venous diseases, which can cause swelling near the vein, skin discoloration and painful skin sores, also known as venous ulcers. Don’t wait to seek varicose veins treatment and be sure to speak with a vascular specialist who is experienced with complicated cases of varicose veins.
If you’re suffering from pain from varicose veins in your legs, know that minimally invasive procedures may be an option to resolve your symptoms and get you back in action. Call 844-832-VEIN (8346) today to schedule an appointment with a vascular specialist.
(i) John Hopkins Medicine. Chronic venous insufficiency. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/cardiovascular_diseases/chronic_venous_insufficiency_85,P08250
(ii) Mayo Clinic. (2017, December 28). Varicose veins: Symptoms & causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/symptoms-causes/syc-20350643
(iii) Alguire, P. & Scovell, S. (2018, May 29). Overview and management of lower extremity chronic venous disease. In K.A. Collins (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-and-management-of-lower-extremity-chronic-venous-disease?csi=6430313b-0a6d-4266-b271-4024b76c9add&source=contentShare
(iv) U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016, July 13). Varicose veins: Overview. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072431/
(v) Cleveland Clinic. Varicose veins: Not just an older woman’s problem. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/varicose-veins-not-just-an-older-womans-problem/
(vi) Mayo Clinic. (2017, December 28). Varicose veins: Diagnosis & treatment. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350649