Do Men Get Varicose Veins?
Lots of people think varicose veins only affect middle-aged women but men get them too!
Up to 30% of people are affected by varicose veins – both men and women. A strong family history is a good indication that you may suffer from varicose veins. They may worsen with occupations that require prolonged standing.
What’s happening inside your varicose veins?
If you have a vein that is concerning you – it might be bluish, ropey and bulge above the surface of your skin – you may also experience swelling, pain and itching. Your veins are full of one-way valves that pump deoxygenated blood back toward your heart and lungs. When these valves are weakened and fail, the blood isn’t pumped forward anymore and it begins to pool and bulge with the excess blood.
Should I get treatment? I thought varicose veins were only cosmetic…
Varicose veins can develop some pretty nasty complications. Some you may already experience like itching and swelling, but other complications like dermatitis, lipodermatosclerosis (thickening of the skin of the lower leg or ankle) and venous ulceration may develop if left untreated.
You can do some things to manage swelling and pain however, untreated, varicose veins do not right themselves and will only worsen without medical intervention.
Treating Varicose Veins in Men
The only option used to be surgery for varicose vein treatment. But not now.
Medically advanced treatments are walk-in, walk-out procedures these days. They’re less painful and recovery time is shorter. One such treatment is Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA). With ultrasound guidance, a laser fibre is placed into the abnormal vein through a tiny incision. The vein is then numbed with local anaesthetic and the laser is activated. The vein collapses, heals over and is absorbed into the body.
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) is a highly specialised procedure for treating varicose veins that are hidden beneath the skin. With ultrasound guidance, the doctor can accurately guide the needle and inject the hidden abnormal veins with a special solution (sclerosant), while observing the process on the ultrasound monitor. The treated vein will collapse and gradually be absorbed by the body.
VenaSeal is another amazing treatment which glues the offending vein shut. The VenaSeal procedure involves the placement of a very small amount of VenaSeal medical glue into the vein through a small catheter. Once the affected vein is closed, blood is immediately re-routed through other healthy veins in the leg. Patients can return to their normal activities right after the treatment.
Key take aways
- Men get varicose veins too.
- Untreated varicose veins can lead to complications.
- Medically advanced, walk-in, walk-out treatments include: Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) and VenaSeal.
- To find out more book an appointment with Dr Paraskevas.