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Four Myths About Varicose Veins

You have those blue rope-like things snaking up your leg.  You’re pretty sure you have varicose veins.  You’ve heard a lot about them, so you think you know a lot.  Well, I’m here to tell you that a lot of what you hear is bunk. There’s nothing more dangerous than a little bit of knowledge. In this blog post, we’ll address 4 myths about varicose veins to clear up some of the misconceptions.

Myth 1 – Varicose veins are a cosmetic issue and don’t need to be treated.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Varicose veins can cause you a whole slew of problems and shouldn’t be left alone.  First of all, varicose veins cause many symptoms. In fact, symptomatic varicose veins are one of the top five reasons for losing time from work.  They can cause heaviness, aching, itching, throbbing, and restless legs. Any one of these symptoms can be debilitating.

Besides these symptoms, varicose veins can lead to complications.  You can get an ulcer, which is an open wound on your leg.  Your leg can become edematous – swollen with fluids – which makes it hard to walk and get around.  Varicose veins can spontaneously bleed.  And worst of all, you can develop a clot in your varicose vein.  This clot can dislodge and travel to other areas of your body, wreaking all kinds of havoc.

The good news is that you don’t have to put up with these symptoms or develop these complications. Treatment is easy and can be performed in under an hour as an outpatient.  Make an appointment to come by and see us and get this medical disease taken care of.

Myth 2 – Men don’t get varicose veins.

Just tell that to all the guys I see in my office.  True, men don’t get pregnant – duh! – which is a big risk factor for developing varicose veins. But they have jobs that make them stand on their feet for hours a day.  Twenty-two million women between the ages of 40 and 80 have varicose veins.  There are still 11 million men in this age range who have varicose veins.

Myth 3 – Varicose vein treatments are just too expensive to consider

It’s true that the price tag for varicose vein treatments can be mighty hefty.  But that’s what we have insurance for.  All major insurance companies including Medicare, cover varicose vein treatment.  If you’ve met your deductible, then you may have to pay nothing out of pocket.  And if you haven’t met your deductible, we’ll work with you to develop a payment plan. There’s no need to suffer from your varicose veins when treatment is so affordable.

Myth 4 – Compression stockings and elevation of the feet cure varicose veins

This is a common myth that’s perpetuated by insurance companies.  The idea behind compression stockings is that pressure on the varicose veins forces blood out of them, and they collapse.  This is true enough but the problem is that the minute that you take off the compression stockings, the varicose veins fill right back up.  It’s certainly no cure.

In the same manner, elevation of the legs helps for as long as the leg is elevated.  The idea here is that standing on your legs causes blood to pool in the lower leg and this causes varicose veins to swell.  With this line of reasoning elevating the leg causes the blood to drain out of your lower leg and leads to a decrease in the size of the varicose veins.  That’s true as far as it goes.  But you’re not going to have much of a life if you spend all your time with your legs elevated.  And the minute you put them back on the floor, the varicose veins will swell again.

So, elevating your legs and wearing compression hose gives you temporary relief from those awful varicose veins but is certainly no cure.

I hope I’ve cleared up some of the misconceptions that you might have about varicose veins.  If you have them – and you’ll know if you do – the best thing is to get you and your legs into one of the exam rooms at Vanishing Veins and get things taken care of for real.  Just call 860-761-6666 to make your appointment.

– Dr. Greenwald

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Four Myths About Varicose Veins
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