On Tuesday, June 14 many joined vascular surgeon, Dr. Mark Rheudasil as he discussed varicose vein pain prevention, non-surgical vs. surgical treatment options, differences between varicose and spider veins, and more. During this interactive web chat, participants were able to ask questions and get real-time answers from our Emory Healthcare professional.
Thanks to such a great turnout, we were able to answer quite a few questions that were submitted both prior to and during the chat. Below are some highlights from the live chat. View the full chat transcript here.
Question: Can you give a quick explanation of varicose veins? What causes them and what can I do if I am not wanting to have surgery?
Dr. Rheudasil: Most large varicose veins are caused by incompetent valves in the veins of the legs. Treatment though now rarely requires surgery. Most veins are treated with minor procedures done in the office.
Question: What are the possible treatments for varicose veins?
Dr. Rheudasil: Good question! The way you treat varicose veins is to get rid of them, and that can involve closing them with solutions that we inject into the vein or with heat or on occasion removing the vein through small incisions.
Question: How do I know if my varicose veins are bad enough to need treatment?
Dr. Rheudasil: Treatment for varicose veins is usually performed to relieve symptoms. Some people with small varicose veins so seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. If varicose veins are bothering a patient, it could be time to consider treatment options.
Question: What causes the pain of varicose vein?
Dr. Rheudasil: The pain is usually from the pressure from increased blood being retained in the veins that should otherwise be emptied out.
Question: Is there are relationship between varicose veins and spider veins?
Dr. Rheudasil: Spider veins are small whispy veins on the skin that are most often a result of heredity. Varicose veins are larger bulging, ropey veins that are often a result of valve incompetence, which we mentioned in the previous question. While many patients have both types of vein abnormalities, they are not directly related to one another.
Question: What would treatment be like if I came in to have it done? Painful?
Dr. Rheudasil: Treatment varies from patient to patient. It often includes closing veins with either heat or injections that do involve small needle sticks. The pain from this is usually minor. Most patients do not require any pain medication.
Thanks to everyone who participated! You can view the full chat transcript here.