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284 March/April 2014 | Bethesda Magazine HEALTH
Ask the Medical Experts
How common are problems with veins?
Varicose veins and venous insufficiency
affect quality of life for 20 million Americans.
The good news is that treatment is done in
the office and there is little or no discomfort.
Some people wonder when they should seek
help. Signs of venous insufficiency include
bulging varicose veins and skin discoloration.
More serious symptoms include leg fatigue
or leg pain and swelling. These happen so
gradually that they are often dismissed as
How are varicose veins treated?
Healthy veins carry blood from the legs
upwards to the heart through a series of
one-way valves. The valves protect the legs
by not allowing gravity to pool the blood.
Failure of these valves allows blood to remain
in the veins, building pressure that causes
Veins with leaking valves are treated by
inserting a catheter up the vein. Heat seals
the vein closed. Bulging veins either regress
spontaneously or we remove them, in the office, through tiny nicks in the skin under local
anesthesia. Patients can drive to and from
the treatments by themselves, and return to
normal activity promptly. Legs are looking
and feeling great in no time at all.
Vein treatments are easy to undergo
and are covered by insurance. Patients with
varicose vein problems tell me that they are
often so tired from daily activities that by the
end of the day all they want to do is rest.
Relief from the discomfort and unsightly ap-
pearance of varicose veins improves quality
of life tremendously. Anyone who has ques-
tions about the severity of their vein problems
to learn what can be done. “Relief from the discomfort and unsightly appearance of varicose veins improves quality of life tremendously.”
capitol Vein & laser centers