Why do varicose veins develop after weight loss?
After Bariatric Surgery, weight loss results in significant improvement in health and quality of life. Unfortunately, of those patients who lose 50 percent or more of their body weight, many go on to experience symptoms caused by venous insufficiency. This unpleasant consequence of substantial weight loss can cause the appearance of varicose veins, which may be painful, unsightly and often lead to other health problems. Varicose veins can be treated in the office by Dr. Pal using endovenous thermal or endovenous non-thermal techniques.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are prominent leg veins. They have a ropey appearance and are considered unattractive to the patients. They can also be quite painful and may lead to skin changes, ankle swelling and restless leg syndrome.
Why do Varicose Veins Develop?
Genetics is one cause of varicose veins. Patients who have parents, grandparents or siblings or other close relatives with vein problems are more likely to develop them. Additionally, pregnancy or standing for long periods in your work may cause varicose veins. There are other factors associated with varicose veins.
A major cause of varicose veins is obesity. In the body blood is pumped by the calf muscle upward towards the heart. Blood is moved from one set of valves upward to the next valves. When an individual is obese, these one-way valves may be damaged by the added pressure from body weight. The vein under pressure begins to dilate and the blood then flows backward and pools in the lower leg vein. The result is the formation of a varicose vein. Many patients have problem veins that are hidden until significant changes occur to the adipose tissue (or body fat) of the legs. Some veins are only cosmetic concerns, while others cause pain, tenderness and can even lead to skin loss, ulcers, bleeding and superficial clots. This is why there is importance in an early evaluation for varicose vein and treatment after weight loss.
How Are Varicose Veins Diagnosed?
Using a duplex scan, your vein specialist can examine the diameter and quality of flow in your leg veins. This is an in-office diagnostic, non-invasive ultrasound evaluation. It is recommended that individuals with any indication of varicose veins be examined, especially if there is leg pain or swelling present.
How Do You Treat Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins may be controlled by avoiding obesity, elevating your legs and using compression stockings. For those patients who are evaluated and diagnosed with varicose veins, Dr. Pal uses endovenous ablation techniques, both radiofrequency or laser, but also chemical or mechanical-chemical ablation and other endovenous techniques. Combined therapy using ablation, phlebectomy, with or without sclerotherapy, may be recommended. These treatment methods are selected according to the individual patients needs and are performed in our comfortable office setting.
During the ablation procedure, the physician advances a fiber directly into the problem vein. The fiber heats the numbed vein wall, which then collapses. Depending upon treatment recommendations, procedures may last 1 to 1 ½ hours and are most often covered by insurance. The deeper vein system then takes over the proper blood flow function by redirecting and efficiently controlling blood flow. Afterwards, patients enjoy an improved quality of their leg health and leg appearance.
If after significant weight loss, you have become concerned about leg discomfort or visible varicose veins or swelling contact Dr. Pal or call for more information or schedule a detailed evaluation with Dr. Pal at Minnesota Vein Center in the Twin-Citiies – North Oaks, MN.