According to the NIH, about 20% of adults in the United States will develop large, twisted varicose veins on their legs. Though women are more susceptible to varicose veins, men develop them, too. They’re more common as you age, but you may find yourself with varicose veins even when you’re relatively young, especially if they run in your family or if you’re overweight.
Jeffrey Gosin, MD and his team at Shore Vascular and Vein Center, located in Somers Point, New Jersey, treat varicose veins with FDA-cleared, minimally invasive radiofrequency (RF) ablation. If you’re ready for smoother, healthier legs, here’s what you need to know about RF ablation.
Why you should get rid of varicose veins
You may be reluctant to treat your varicose veins because you regard them as a strictly cosmetic problem. You worry that if you remove or collapse the veins, your blood won’t flow as efficiently anymore. In fact, the opposite is true.
Varicose veins are veins that have stopped working well and actually slow down the circulation in your legs. That’s why some people who have varicose veins develop symptoms such as:
- Tired legs
- Achy legs
- Itchy legs
- Skin changes on their legs
- Ulcers on their legs
Healthy, efficient veins push your blood upward, toward your heart, where it gets reoxygenated by your lungs and then sent down through your body through your arteries. If you have varicose veins, however, they’re not pushing your blood upward with enough force.
In fact, varicose veins are a symptom of faulty valves inside your blood vessels. The valves help propel the blood only in one direction — upward. Then they close so the blood can’t flow backward. Except, if you have varicose veins, the valves don’t close properly.
Instead of coursing up toward your heart and lungs, the blood pools behind the valve. The characteristic large, swollen, twisted look of varicose veins is caused by this pooled blood.
What RF ablation does
When you get your varicose veins treated at Shore Vascular and Vein Center, Dr. Gosin or another team member numbs the area where your varicose veins are located. They then insert a narrow catheter electrode, using ultrasound images to guide its placement into the damaged vein or veins.
Once the catheter is in the treatment area, they send high-frequency, alternating RF energy waves through the electrode. The RF energy causes the vein to spasm, then shrinks the collagen fibers that make up the dysfunctional vessel’s walls. The vein collapses, and your circulation reroutes itself to healthier veins.
Fast and easy recovery
After your doctor collapses the dysfunctional veins, they cover the treatment site with a small bandage. You don’t need stitches.
Dr. Gosin recommends that you wear compression garments and avoid excessive movement for a couple of days. Rest your leg and take time off from work and household tasks. If you feel any discomfort, you can control it with over-the-counter painkillers.
Within a few weeks, your legs look noticeably clearer and free of varicose veins. Be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to keep your newly clear skin healthy and protected from the sun’s rays.
Get ready for summer by eliminating varicose veins today. Call us at 609-297-5992 or use the handy online contact form.