Posts Tagged ‘varicose vein treatment options’

Takeaways: Varicose Vein Live Chat

vv-chat-emailOn 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. 


Takeaways from Dr. Rheudasil’s Varicose Vein Live Chat

Thanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, September 8, for our live online chat “Your Aching Legs: Minimizing Varicose Vein Pain and When It’s Time to Consider Treatment” hosted by Dr. Mark Rheudasil.

Although varicose veins may not be preventable, there are ways to reduce the likelihood that you will develop them. Dr. Rheudasil provided some insights on the cause of varicose veins along with tips on how to minimize varicose vein development and minimize the discomfort they cause for those who already have them.

Here are just a few highlights:

Question: I have a profession that requires me to be on my feet all day. I can’t change jobs at this point in my career but want to minimize or prevent the formation of varicose veins. What can I do?”

rheudasil-j-mark (1)Dr. Rheudasil: For people that spend a considerable amount of time on their feet, gravity causes blood to pool in the lower legs – especially when the veins are not functioning normally. This may cause aching or heaviness, and may increase the size of varicose veins. Wear knee-high support stockings, move around a bit so that the calf muscles contract and pump some of the blood out of the lower legs.



Question: Can losing weight help prevent varicose veins?

rheudasil-j-mark (1)

Dr. Rheudasil: Yes, veins have to pump blood out of the legs against excess weight, so losing weight and being fit helps vein flow and helps reduce varicose vein likelihood.




Question: I am pregnant and have developed varicose veins, which I understand is common, will these go away eventually, or do I need to seek treatment? There is minor pain from time to time.

rheudasil-j-mark (1)Dr. Rheudasil: Pregnancy is a very common risk factor for varicose veins. During pregnancy we prefer to be as conservative as possible, so we would recommend compression stockings and leg elevation. The veins will likely improve after delivery, but they will likely not go away. I would not recommend a specific treatment until after delivery.



Our chat participants submitted other questions about the effect of heel height on varicose vein formation, the relationship between heart disease and varicose veins, and whether itchy legs could be related to various veins. If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.

If you have additional questions for Dr. Rheudasil, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

The Latest in Vein Treatment Technology

Varicose Vein TreatmentVein problems are incredibly common. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 60% of all men and women suffer from some form of vein disorder. Specifically, 80 million Americans suffer from varicose veins and/or spider veins. A number of factors contribute to vein problems, including genetics, being overweight, female, pregnant and/or spending a lot of time on your feet.

The fact that modern-day treatment is relatively simple is great news to the millions of Americans who suffer from varicose veins. Veins are designed to return blood from the legs back to the heart. When veins become varicose or enlarged, blood will pool in these superficial veins rather than efficiently emptying out of the legs. This excess blood, and the pressure that results, stretches and dilates the veins and often leads to symptoms of aching, heaviness and fatigue.

Treatment for vein problems has become much less invasive over the last 10 years. In the past, treatment meant surgery: incisions, anesthesia, pain, and a long recovery. Now, vein issues can be treated using more effective and less invasive procedures.

One interesting new treatment for varicose veins is known as sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a small volume of liquid into the diseased vein. The sclerosing solution causes the abnormal vein to close. This procedure uses a very fine needle that is nearly pain-free, and extremely effective in treating varicose veins.

Another interesting treatment is known as endovenous laser ablation therapy (EVLT). In EVLT, a thin laser fiber is inserted into the diseased vein. Laser energy is then delivered through a fiber, causing the vein to close. The loss of the diseased vein does not compromise the circulatory system, since blood will flow through other healthy veins after the procedure.

The best part about these new technologies? There is no down time with sclerotherapy or ablation therapy. A compression stocking may be required for a few days, but, normal activity is encourag

If you have bothersome veins and would like evaluation by one of our board-certified vascular surgeons, please contact the Emory Vein Center for a consultation. Your legs will thank you!

Call 404-778-VEIN or request an appointment online today!

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD, graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. He is also a member the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery and is a past President of the Georgia Vascular Society and the Atlanta Vascular Society.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics in vascular surgery.