Varicose veins more frequently affect women than men, but if you have a family history of them, chances are you’ll get varicose veins, too, regardless of your gender. Estimates suggest that 10%-15% of men have varicose veins, and if you’re one of these 11 million men between 40 and 80 years old, Dr. David Naar, a highly skilled vascular surgeon at Premier Vein Clinic, in Westlake, Ohio, offers the latest treatments.
Simply Cosmetic, or Cause for Concern?
For many men, varicose veins may just be a cosmetic concern at first, as sometimes you don’t experience any symptoms associated with varicose veins. Your legs may feel achy or tired, but otherwise, there isn’t a noticeable problem, other than the appearance of the veins. While you can get varicose veins anywhere on your body, it’s most common to get them in your legs, especially if you sit or stand for long periods each day, or if you have heredity working against you.
Leg veins have to work harder to carry blood back to your heart, fighting against gravity. The valves in your leg veins and blood vessels help to prevent blood from getting backed up and pooling in your legs. But, when these valves become weak, the blood pools in the veins and increases pressure, causing your veins to bulge and thicken. The results appear as unsightly, bluish-purple veins just under the surface of your skin.
At first, a varicose vein or two may not be cause for concern. If more appear, as your body works harder to send blood from your toes back to your heart, and symptoms begin to bother you, it’s a good idea to let a vein specialist, such as Dr. Naar, evaluate the severity of your condition.
Know When to Seek Treatment
It’s not a good idea to ignore varicose veins, as they increase your risk of a dangerous type of blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis. And, if varicose veins cause visible damage to your skin, such as discoloration, ulcers, or thickening of the skin around the affected veins, it’s usually permanent.
Let’s face it — as men, we don’t even like to ask for directions, so it’s sometime hard for us to seek medical help when we need it. But, if you do experience symptoms or your varicose veins worsen, don’t put off seeking medical intervention. Here are the signs you shouldn’t ignore if you have varicose veins:
Of course, even if you don’t have severe symptoms, but you just don’t like how varicose veins make your calves appear knotty or discolored, Dr. Naar offers a variety of treatments to improve your condition.
Surgery isn’t the Only Effective Treatment for Varicose Veins
One of the many myths surrounding varicose veins is that surgery is the only way to correct them. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Depending on the severity of your varicose veins, you may have several other treatment options, including:
- Wearing compression socks
- Elevating your legs while sitting and sleeping
- Exercising to improve circulation
- Eating a low-salt diet to prevent leg swelling
- Losing weight to take pressure off your legs
- Sclerotherapy, or injections of medications that close the affected veins
- Laser or radiofrequency ablation to collapse varicose veins
Dr. Naar takes a conservative approach to treating your varicose veins, often recommending lifestyle changes and noninvasive treatments first, with surgery as a last resort, or for the most severe cases. He uses the latest technologies, including endovenous ablation, which uses laser or radiofrequency energy to collapse varicose veins so your blood gets rerouted to healthier, functioning veins.
Endovenous ablation is minimally invasive and has a very high success rate, and requires no downtime. Sclerotherapy is also an option that leaves your legs smooth and free of the bulging and discoloration of varicose veins. That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment earlier, rather than later, while nonsurgical treatment is still a viable choice.
When it comes to varicose veins, just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. It just means you have to “man up” and seek treatment before varicose veins lead to more serious health complications.
Dr. Naar and the friendly, caring team at Premier Vein Clinic invite you to schedule an appointment today. You can call the office or request an appointment online using the booking tool on this website.