Millions of Americans suffer from vein diseases, including diseases that cause vein swelling and distension. Many vein problems happen when valves inside our veins stop working, interfering with normal blood flow and causing our veins and our limbs to swell.
Virtually anyone can develop swollen veins, but they tend to occur most commonly in people with specific risk factors, like:
- Older age
- Sedentary lifestyles
- High blood pressure
- Underlying vein disease
- Smoking habit
- Family history of vein problems
Swollen veins — and swollen limbs — also tend to be more common during pregnancy, when extra weight increases pressures on leg veins and hormonal fluctuations take a toll, as well.
A leading vascular health practice in Port St. Lucie, Florida, TLC Medical Group Inc., offers an array of advanced vein treatment options for swollen or damaged veins. Anthony B. Lewis MD, FACC, and his team review some of the treatments used to help manage swollen, malfunctioning veins.
Focusing on lifestyle
While most people with swollen veins require medical intervention to address vein damage and improve circulation, lifestyle changes help prevent future problems while optimizing vein health.
Regular physical activity is very important when it comes to improving your circulation. Not only does exercise help your heart, but it improves vein health, too. Focus on aerobic activities for overall circulation benefits, as well as exercises that target your calf muscles. These muscles act like a second pump to help move blood back to your heart from your feet and lower legs.
Wearing compression socks offers added support for swollen veins in your feet and lower legs. Compression socks come in varying degrees of pressure, and if you get the wrong kind, they can do more harm than good. Dr. Lewis can prescribe compression socks with just the right amount of compression for your needs.
Keeping your legs elevated takes pressure off the vein valves in your legs and promotes circulation at the same time. Try to elevate your legs on and off throughout the day. Add a footstool under your desk at work, and use your off hours to kick off your shoes and put your feet up.
Foods high in sodium make your body retain water, contributing to swelling and putting extra pressure on your vessels. Unhealthy fats can cause problems, too. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins for optimal vein health, and drink plenty of water.
Jobs that require long periods of standing or sitting take a toll on vein health, too. Try to work in frequent breaks to walk around and do some simple leg stretches to keep circulation flowing.
Focus on medical treatment
Lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk of vein disease and its symptoms, but to get rid of swollen veins, you’ll need medical treatment.
In this minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Lewis uses a special instrument designed to administer radiofrequency (RF) energy to the damaged vein. The energy heats the vein, causing it to collapse and preventing future blood flow. Over the next few weeks, the vein is absorbed and eliminated by your body. Dr. Lewis uses both the ClosureFast™ and VENCLOSE™ RF systems that rely on the most advanced technology.
Sclerotherapy is often used to treat small to medium-sized varicose veins as well as tin spider veins. During a sclerotherapy session, Dr. Lewis injects a special chemical into the diseased vein. The chemical irritates the vein lining and causes it to close. Over time, the diseased vein is absorbed by your body and blood naturally reroutes to neighboring veins.
Phlebectomy removes the damaged vein instead of dissolving it. In this procedure, Dr. Lewis makes a series of tiny incisions or punctures along the skin above the vein. Then he uses a special instrument to “grab” the vein and remove it through those punctures. Often reserved for larger veins that can’t be treated noninvasively, Dr. Lewis is skilled in multiple phlebectomy techniques to ensure you get the best treatment for your needs.
Don’t ignore vein problems
Vein swelling and swollen legs are just two possible symptoms of vein disease. Other symptoms to look for include aches and pains, itchy skin, leg or arm fatigue, and restless leg syndrome. If you have any of these symptoms, a vein evaluation can help you get the treatment you need to relieve your symptoms and improve your vein health, too.
To learn more about vein treatments, call 772-200-3829 or book an appointment online with the team at TLC Medical Group today.