Varicose veins form due to increased pressure inside of the veins. The stress weakens the veins, allowing blood to collect. The blood pools, increasing the pressure and enlarging the veins. If you’re currently dealing with varicose veins, you likely wonder if this is a lifelong problem. The answer is a bit complicated. You can treat your current varicose veins, but other veins can form. Because of that, varicose veins are considered a chronic condition requiring ongoing management. Learn more about the risk factors associated with varicose veins, along with your treatment options.
Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
While anyone can develop varicose veins, you are more likely to have this condition if you have one or more risk factors. Genetics plays a large role in varicose veins. If a close family member has varicose veins, you are at high risk for developing the condition.
Pregnancy is another risk factor for developing varicose veins. The fetus increases the pressure on the lower abdomen and pelvis. This added pressure can cause the blood to pool in the veins in the legs.
Your gender can also put you at risk for developing varicose veins. Women are more prone to varicose veins than men. Women are at even higher risk for vein disease when they undergo hormone replacement therapy or take birth control bills.
Other risk factors include:
- Excess weight
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time
- Traumatic vein damage
- History of deep vein thrombosis or blood clots
Treatment Options and Ongoing Management
Your varicose vein specialist will likely begin with conservative treatment, such as compression stockings or weight loss. This approach will manage the symptoms and prevent them from acutely progressing. If your varicose veins are causing bothersome symptoms, though, you can undergo treatment. Popular treatments for varicose veins include radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, VenaSeal and sclerotherapy.
While the treatments are all different, they all cause the veins to collapse and close off. The body then naturally diverts the blood flow to other veins.
If your varicose veins were caused by controllable risk factors, such as excessive weight or sitting for long periods, you might not have a recurrence. However, many risk factors cannot be controlled. If your varicose veins are due to an uncontrollable risk factor, you’ll likely have a chronic condition. The treated varicose veins won’t reappear, but you can form new ones. That is why vein specialists recommend ongoing management.
Learn More About Varicose Vein Treatment and Management
Dr. Vinay Madan at the Center for Varicose Veins provides treatment and ongoing management for patients with varicose veins. Contact the Center for Varicose Veins to schedule a consultation with Dr. Madan.