Ah, spring in the Puget Sound region. Visions of warm days, shorts and skirts and being self-conscious about varicose veins may be dancing in your head. Is there anything you can do?
Some of us wear shorts and skirts anyway, ignoring furtive glances or curious comments, while others just hide their veins under hose or pants. A third option is available: treatment.
Whether you’ve got little red, flat spider veins, big, blue bulging varicose veins, or something in between, you’ve got the same problem – just of a different magnitude. Spider veins and varicose veins occur in the legs when the one-way valves in the blood vessels no longer work right, which lets blood collect in the veins instead of flowing back to the heart. This makes the veins widen, often becoming unsightly and uncomfortable. Most commonly varicose veins near the skin surface are caused by leaky valves in veins deeper in the leg. Untreated, varicose veins typically worsen over time.
On a daily basis, we see patients who are seeking treatment for hardening of the arteries, typically in the legs or neck (PAD-peripheral arterial disease); weakening of the main artery in the abdomen (AAA-abdominal aortic aneurysm); and varicose veins. In each case, there are traditional ways of being treated (what we call “Open” Vascular Surgery) as well as innovative alternatives (what we call “Endovascular” Surgery).
How do we arrive at our recommenda...
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