While living in Salt Lake City, do you ever feel like your legs are sore? Or that you have leg pain? If so, this could be a sign of varicose veins.
Varicose veins can appear as enlarged, swollen, or raised veins. They may also be bluish-purple or red. These occur when your veins become enlarged or dilated. Varicose veins are a result of enlarged veins that are located near the skin’s surface. They can be extremely painful and cause soreness.
However, even though varicose veins can be sore and painful, there are various treatment options to alleviate the symptoms.
Step One: Diagnosis
Varicose veins are often diagnosed by doctors based only on a physical examination.
You can stand or sit with your legs stretched out during the physical examination. Your doctor may ask about your symptoms, pain, and any signs or discomforts. In Salt Lake City, sore legs are very common; therefore, don’t be afraid to be transparent with your physician.
Furthermore, a vascular surgeon or specialist in vascular medicine may be able to help you. These doctors are specialists in blood vessel conditions. A dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin, is also an option to help diagnose.
Step Two: Diagnostic Tests
After the initial diagnosis, your Salt Lake City doctor may recommend a doppler ultrasound to check blood flow and look for blood clots.
A doppler ultrasound is a sound wave-based imaging technique that creates pictures of structures within your body. During this test, a handheld device will be placed on the body and pushed back and forth across the affected area. Next, a computer will convert the sound waves into a picture of blood flow through your veins and arteries.
Next, although not as common, your doctor can order an angiogram to examine the blood flow in your blood vessels. This procedure involves injecting dye into your veins. On x-ray images, the dye highlights your veins.
Step Three: Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes can often treat varicose veins.
These lifestyle changes can help prevent varicose from getting worse, offer pain relief, and delay the formation of other varicose. Some changes include:
- Do not sit or stand for too long without taking breaks. Avoid crossing your legs when sitting if possible. Raise your legs when you are sitting, sleeping, resting, or sitting. This should help reduce sore legs.
- Increase physical activity. This will improve muscle tone and allow blood to flow more easily through your veins.
- Lose weight if you are obese. This will increase blood flow and reduce pressure in your veins.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes around the waist, hips, and legs. Tight clothing can actually cause increased sore legs.
- Reduce your time wearing high heels. Instead, wear low-heeled shoes that can tone your calf muscles. Toned muscles improve blood flow through the veins.
Furthermore, compression stockings may be recommended by your doctor. The stockings apply gentle pressure to the legs. This pressure prevents blood from pooling and reduces swelling in the legs. There are three types to choose from when it comes to compression stockings.
The first is support pantyhose. This is the simplest type and offers the least pressure. Over-the-counter compression hose is the second type, offering slightly more pressure. The third type is a prescription-strength compression hose, and you will need to have them fitted in the store by a trained professional.
Step Four: Procedures
In Salt Lake City, varicose veins can be removed or closed by medical procedures. This can be done without affecting blood flow.
A liquid chemical is used to close a varicose vein using Sclerotherapy. After the chemical is injected into the vein, it causes irritation and scarring. Once this happens, the vein closes off and gradually goes away.
This procedure is often used to treat small varicose and spider veins. However, even though this is an effective treatment, it may take several treatments to close a vein completely. The treatment is usually done every 4 to 6 weeks in Salt Lake City. After treatment, your legs will be covered with elastic bandaging to reduce swelling and speed healing.
- Microsclerotherapy Microsclerotherapy can be used to treat spider veins and other small varicose veins. A very fine needle injects a small amount of the liquid chemical into the vein. The chemical causes the vein to become scarred and closes off.
- Laser Surgery This laser light treatment uses light energy to treat varicose veins and causes the vein to fade. Laser surgery is used in Salt Lake City mainly to treat small varicose veins. There is no need to cut or inject chemicals.
- Endovenous Ablation Therapy
The endovenous treatment uses radio waves or lasers to heat a varicose vein. First, your Salt Lake City doctor will make a small cut on your skin near the varicose vein. Then, the doctor inserts a tiny tube, called a catheter, into the vein. The tube’s tip heats the vein inside and closes it.
While you will remain awake, your doctor will numb any area around the vein to reduce the pain level. Usually, you can return home the same day as your procedure and return to normal daily activities soon.
- Endoscopic Vein Surgery
During this surgery, your doctor will make a small incision on your skin to access a varicose vein. The doctor will then use a small camera attached to a thin tube to view the vein. The camera’s end is connected to a surgical device that closes the vein.
Endoscopic vein surgery should only be used when severe varicose veins cause skin ulcers. The required downtime is a few weeks.
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
During ambulatory phlebectomy, your doctor will make small incisions to remove small varicose vessels.
This is typically done to remove varicose veins closest to your skin’s surface. While you remain awake, your doctor will numb any area surrounding the vein. You can usually go home on the same day as the procedure.
- Vein Stripping and Ligation
Vein stripping or ligation treatment should only be performed in severe cases of varicose.
This involves closing the skin and removing the varicose veins using small cuts. The procedure will require you to be put to sleep temporarily, so you do not feel any pain. Vein stripping or ligation can usually be done, outpatient. The procedure takes about one to four weeks for recovery in Salt Lake City.