Debunking 8 Common Varicose Vein Myths at Gilvydis Vein Clinic

Varicose veins are those recognizable blue and bulging veins that commonly appear on the legs. According to the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, more than 40 million adults live with varicose veins.

Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions regarding these painful veins. Gilvydis Vein Clinic is here to debunk these myths and offer effective treatments that will help you get back to the activities you love.

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8 Myths & Facts About Varicose Veins

Many people disregard their varicose veins because they believe they’re a normal part of aging. The reality is that, even though they are common, they are not normal and can lead to a progressive vein disorder if left untreated.

Myth #1: Varicose Veins Are Just a Cosmetic Issue

Even though the most common complaint among those with varicose veins is self-consciousness, these protuberant veins can cause much more harm than esteem issues. Varicose veins can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like pain, throbbing, burning, aching, and restlessness. 

Myth #2: They’re Just an Old Person Issue

It makes sense that those who are older are more susceptible to varicose veins. After all, our veins age as we do. However, elderly people aren’t the only ones who get varicose veins. Men and women in their 20s and 30s can also get varicose veins for many reasons. From sedentary lives to unhealthy habits, varicose veins can appear at any age.

Myth #3: Only Women Get Varicose Veins

Varicose veins aren’t exclusively a female issue. Although women have a higher chance of developing varicose veins due to factors like pregnancy and hormonal changes, millions of men live with these painful veins. 

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, nearly 45% of our patient base is male. In fact, Dr. Gilvydis himself used to suffer from varicose veins.

Myth #4: Nothing Can Treat Varicose Veins

Today, varicose veins are highly treatable due to cutting-edge technological advances and years of research. From endovenous laser ablation to sclerotherapy, varicose vein treatment has become a safe, minimally invasive procedure with little to no downtime. Our procedures are so simple that patients typically resume their normal activities the following day.

Myth #5: Surgery Is the Only Option

Thanks to technological advancements, the majority of varicose veins can be treated with minimally invasive outpatient procedures. This means that you’ll be in and out of the clinic with little to no lingering discomfort—and no need to undergo invasive vein stripping surgery.

Myth #6: Vein Treatment Is Painful

Our varicose vein procedures are designed to be quick, convenient, and produce excellent results with minimal discomfort and downtime. Varicose vein treatment is a life-changing solution that can increase your self-confidence and improve your overall health.

Myth #7: Varicose Veins Can’t Be Prevented

Oftentimes, varicose veins are hereditary and will show up regardless of your lifestyle. However, there are important preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of varicose veins. Start moving more, prioritize a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and quit smoking to decrease your chances of developing varicose veins.

Myth #8: Insurance Won’t Cover Treatment

Since vein disease is a progressive disease with well-documented physical and visual symptoms like pain and swelling, most insurance companies will cover treatment. Gilvydis Vein Clinic accepts most major insurance with no referral needed. We also accept Medicare.

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What Happens When Varicose Veins Go Untreated?

Unhealthy, weakened veins aren’t able to circulate blood as they should. This is known as venous insufficiency. Without treatment, issues like aching, itching, swelling, and numbness can worsen over time. 

If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to major health complications like blood clots and venous ulcers. If a blood clot dislodges and throws itself into your lungs or heart, the outcome could be fatal.

Types of Varicose Vein Treatments

Thanks to new technology, varicose vein treatment doesn’t have to hurt. Below are our three treatment options to uncover vein disease, reverse blood flow, and help you get a leg up on life.

Ultrasound Vein Mapping

Gilvydis Vein Clinic uses ultrasound vein mapping to locate unhealthy veins through advanced ultrasound technology. Vein mapping allows our vein experts to identify vein disease and determine the best possible treatment for you. Ultrasound vein mapping is painless and lets us assess veins that are not easily visible.

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)

Endovenous Laser Ablation uses a catheter to close off bad veins and redirect the blood flow to healthy ones. This minimally invasive procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete without the use of general anesthesia. To date, Dr. Gilvydis has performed over 24,000 successful vein procedures.

Sclerotherapy 

Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical vein treatment option that closes bad veins through an injectable solution called sclerosant. This solution causes bad veins to scar, collapse, and shrink until they are absorbed into your body. Sclerotherapy helps redirect blood into healthy veins while cosmetically minimizing the look of the bulging vein.

Natural Varicose Vein Remedies

While the above vein procedures are the best ways to treat your varicose veins, there are a few remedies you can try at home. Implementing a healthy diet along with regular yoga and exercise helps reduce your chance of varicose veins by promoting an overall healthy lifestyle.

Along with exercise and yoga, start eating more whole grains, leafy greens, fruit, and healthy fats. And don’t forget to drink water—staying hydrated is crucial for a healthy circulatory system.

Schedule a Screening at Chicagoland’s Favorite Vein Clinic

Vein insufficiency is a progressive disease that can worsen over time. If you are experiencing any symptoms of varicose veins, schedule a free vein consultation at one of our vein clinics in Naperville, Sycamore, or Geneva. Varicose veins are easily treatable, so don’t let these debilitating veins control your life. Get back to enjoying life again and contact us today.

 

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Tips for Men with Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are not only a female issue. More than a quarter of men are currently suffering from the pain and discomfort of these bulging, twisted veins. At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, about 45 percent of our patient base is male, and the severity of the disease is similar among genders.

Men should not let the stigma around varicose veins being a female concern prevent them from addressing the pain and discomfort they may be feeling. The following information will help men understand where varicose veins come from, symptoms they should be aware of and the different ways to reduce or eliminate them altogether.

Why do I have varicose veins?

Don’t feel afraid or embarrassed about your varicose veins. You are not alone. According to the American Vein and Lymphatic Society more than 25 million Americans have varicose veins. The following outlines the main caused for the development of your varicose veins – issues that don’t discriminate based on gender.

  • Family History – Vein disease is hereditary, so if there is a family history of varicose veins, you are more likely to have this condition as well.
  • Age – Men and women over the age of 50 are more susceptible to suffering from varicose veins.
  • Obesity – You are more likely to develop varicose veins if you are overweight. Being overwait puts additional pressure on your blood as it returns blood back to the heart.
  • Prolonged Sitting or Standing – Jobs that require you to sit or stand for long periods of can negatively impact blood flow.
  • Smoking – The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the structure and function of your veins, increasing your risk.

Is there anything I can do to get rid of my varicose veins?

A good first step is recognizing the symptoms. Varicose veins often look like twisting, bulging “cords” that are blue in color and appear near the surface of your skin – primarily on the feet and legs. They are caused by weakened or damaged valves in the veins that restrict blood flow. Symptoms include burning or throbbing sensation in the legs; tired, achy or heaviness in the legs; skin tenderness; swelling; chronic pain similar to muscle cramps in the legs; itchiness; and aching.

You can reduce the effects of varicose veins by making the following lifestyle changes:

  • Move more. Standing and sitting for too long inhibits blood flow.
    • If you sit most of the day, prop up your feet on a footrest or stool.
    • If you stand most of the day, try calf raises or work in a couple of squats when you have the chance.
    • Shift your standing position as often as possible.
    • Walk around at least once every 30 minutes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by prioritizing a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation.
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco.

If you’re looking to get rid of your varicose veins and your symptoms altogether, there are minimally invasive laser treatments available today. Patients report little to no pain or complications and these treatments are also covered by insurance, and we accept most plans.

  • Compression Stockings: The first line of defense is the use of compression stockings or other devices, which can reduce symptoms, but are not a permanent solution.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): A cutting-edge technology that has replaced the need for open surgery. EVLA is a minimally invasive lasering technique used to shut down varicose veins.
  • Sclerotherapy: While EVLA can be used to treat larger problem veins, it is also common to have smaller tributary veins that don’t function properly. These smaller tributary veins can be shut down through the injection of a sclerosing solution.

Men, you are not alone in living with varicose veins. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek treatment for a condition that’s causing you pain and discomfort. Call us today at 779-696-8346 or sign up for a free screening to get your quality of life back.

Image Credit: Getty/isabella antonelli

Varicose Veins Pregnancy: What You Should Know About the Twisted Bulging Veins

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Can Pregnancy Cause Varicose Veins?

The development or worsening of varicose veins during pregnancy is very common. In fact, many people are not aware that the connection between varicose veins and pregnancy is quite significant. About 40 percent of pregnant women suffer from varicose veins during pregnancy. These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful and achy, and can increase your risk of developing blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a vein disease that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of the body.

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes veins in a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Here’s why:

  • The higher levels of progesterone that occur during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to developing varicose veins. This is because increased hormones relax veins and promotes blood to flow in the wrong direction blood, which can result in the formation of varicose veins.
  • The increased volume of blood in your body during pregnancy causes your veins to work harder, resulting in weakened valves that can lead to pooling of blood within the veins.
  • The pressure of an enlarged uterus on the pelvic veins can obstruct the veins from draining into lower extremities and lead to the backflow of blood, resulting in varicose veins.
  • Family history of vein disease can increase your risk of getting varicose veins during pregnancy.

The good news is that for some women, varicose veins tend to improve after pregnancy when progesterone levels return to normal. But for other women, varicose veins can persist after childbirth. No matter what category you fall into, varicose veins can worsen with successive pregnancies. This can put pregnant women with varicose veins at a higher risk of developing blood clots, including a DVT.

A study by the journal JAMA found that among adults with varicose veins, there is a significant risk of developing a DVT. A DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. If left untreated, a DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which is when a blood clot gets wedged into an artery in your lungs. This is a life-threatening condition.

How To Treat Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

The great news is that thanks to modern technology, treating varicose veins in between pregnancies can significantly lower a woman’s risk of developing a blood clot, or a DVT, during and after pregnancy. This procedure, called endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), is minimally invasive, eliminates the need for surgery and has little-to-no downtime. In fact, patients can begin walking immediately after the procedure and return to normal activities the very next day.

If you are planning to become pregnant and have varicose veins or experienced them during a prior pregnancy, contact Dr. Rimas Gilvydis with Northern Illinois Vein Clinic to see if EVLA is the right solution for you. We accept insurance from most major providers and EVLA is covered by most plans.

Our team has performed more than 20,000 successful laser vein treatments. We are known for our reputation for excellence in vein care and for always providing the highest-quality, individualized care with the best possible outcomes for our patients.