Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Varicose Veins and Treatment Options

Varicose veins are the lumpy, bumpy bulges on your legs that are typically caused by leaky valves in your superficial veins. People may seek treatment when they become bothersome.

“Burning, itching, skin discoloration and leg swelling…those are often times why we treat people for their varicose veins,” said Dr. Lewis Owens, a vascular surgeon with the Sentara Martha Jefferson Vascular and Vein Center.

Varicose veins are hereditary, but can also be exacerbated by pregnancy, prolonged periods of standing, and weight issues.

Thanks to technology, endovenous ablation procedures can help treat the problem.

“We can put a catheter inside the veins and it actually releases some thermal energy that closes the veins from the inside,” noted Dr. Owens

But the options don’t stop there.

“Other treatments include using special medicine in kind of a glue format that can literally glue the veins closed, or even a medicine that comes as a foam that irritates the inner lining of the veins and causing them to close as well,” said Dr. Owens.

In some cases, follow-up is needed. Other times, one treatment does the trick.

“Many folks I treat I never see back,” said Dr. Owens.

If you would like more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA.

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