Guest: J.A. Mustapha, MD, Interventional Cardiologist with Metro Heart & Vascular
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can appear gnarled or bulging. Any vein can become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet because of the increased pressure caused by standing and walking. Some small varicose veins are dark purple or blue in color and typically don't cause pain. However, painful symptoms have been known to occur and could be an indicator of a more serious health problem. Those include:
• Achy feelings in the legs
• Burning or throbbing muscles
• Itching around the veins themselves
• Skin ulcers or dryness near the ankles
Varicose veins occur when veins are not properly returning blood from the lower leg to the heart. All veins have valves that open to allow the flow of blood to the heart and close to prevent backflow. When they fail to function properly, blood leaks through and flows down the leg in the wrong direction.
A lot of people look on the elimination of varicose veins as more of a cosmetic issue than one related to health, but the presence of varicose veins is often an indicator of more serious circulation problems. If left untreated, possible complications of varicose veins include skin ulceration, bleeding and blood clots.
At Metro Health, the venous laser program for varicose veins features a minimally invasive procedure called endovenous laser therapy, which is performed on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, you are awake and your leg is anesthetized. A thin laser fiber is inserted through a small puncture in your thigh. Your physician delivers laser energy into the diseased vein, causing it to close. The loss of the vein is not a problem. There are many veins in the leg, and blood will simply flow through healthy veins after laser therapy.
To reach Metro Hearth & Vascular : (616) 252-5950
Ask the Specialist - Varicose Veins
Thursday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Metro Health Conference Center next to the hospital
Register at (616) 252-7117 or www.LiveHealthyPrograms.com