But there are the facts about varicose veins … and then there are the myths:
MYTH #1: Varicose veins are a sign of aging.
Varicose veins can worsen with age because of natural wear and tear on the vein valves. But aging poses only a slight increased risk. The fact is, the development of varicose veins is 80 percent hereditary. If one parent has them, you have a 40 percent chance of developing them. If both parents have them, your chances are even greater. You may develop varicose veins as young as your 20s, although you may not notice them until you’re older. It’s best to let your symptoms guide you, not your age.
MYTH #2: Varicose vein treatment is mostly cosmetic.
If untreated, varicose veins can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, venous leg ulcers and weakened vein valves – all serious medical conditions. For this reason, treatment is often indicated and is not considered cosmetic.
MYTH #3: Insurance won’t cover treatment.
If it can be demonstrated that a patient has varicose vein symptoms, insurance will usually cover the cost of treatment. Most often, treating varicose veins is necessary to eliminate symptoms; avoid further vein damage; and prevent more painful and serious complications of vein disease.
MYTH #4: Varicose veins affect only women.
Women are 25 percent more likely to develop varicose veins than men, in part because of hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. However, as many as 15 percent of men between age 40 and 79 have venous disease, which may include varicose veins and venous insufficiency. And, men are less likely to seek treatment.
MYTH #5: Women should wait until after pregnancy for treatment.
Pregnancy can contribute to the formation of, or worsen, varicose veins, but supportive care and treatment are available before or after.
Myth #6: I hear treatment is painful and requires surgery.
Fisher Titus offers a safe, minimally invasive and highly effective option for treating veins: laser vein treatment. Unlike other procedures like radio frequency ablation (RFA), our method of laser treatment offers better results. Flexible, precise-guided instruments have higher, long-term success rates.
In most cases, procedures can be completed in less than an hour and with little to no discomfort. The best part? The results are immediate and you can resume your normal routine on the same day you have the procedure.
While you can’t predict whether you will get varicose veins, you can seek a doctor’s advice on how to treat them and get rid of them altogether. You should ask your doctor to make sure you do not have any deeper, more serious vascular conditions that need attention. Be sure to take note of any accompanying symptoms, such as swelling, heavy feeling in the legs or other discomfort. If you believe you may be at risk, see a specialist at the Fisher-Titus Vein Treatment Center. Call 419-660-2999.
Dr. Jayne Minier is a board certified general surgeon who practices with Fisher-Titus General Surgery. She also is a member of the Fisher-Titus Vein Treatment Center team. She is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.