Varicose Veins

There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves the recipient of too much information. For instance, the day your parents decided to have a detailed conversation about their upcoming romantic getaway and the things they were looking forward to doing. Or the night your grandfather thought it a good idea to discuss his lower GI issues with you. I am sure you are creating your own list of moments in your mind. You may even come across the time your grandparents mentioned their varicose veins. This wouldnt be an extremely rare problem because varicose veins are quite common. So what are varicose veins and how do you treat them?

A varicose vein is in essence an engorged vein. This makes them more readily visible and palpable. Varicose veins are the superficial veins NOT the deep veins. Deeper veins are not affected. Valves in the veins keep blood from flowing backwards. When these valves become incompetent, blood will flow back and begin to cause the veins to swell. Over time, the veins will become very prominent and are very painful.

There are multiple ways of treating varicose veins. Conservative measures are the initial choice and may consist of:

  • The use of compression stockings or some compression device
  • Please make sure you are measured for the proper fitting stockings
  • Exercising, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting can help reduce the pain and may keep the problem from becoming worse.
  • When the problem becomes severe and conservative measure fail there are more aggressive methods that you may consider.
  • Sclerotherapy injection of a solution into the vein itself that cause it to scar and close
  • Laser surgery No this will not be performed by Sharks with Laser beams on their foreheads (please see Austin Powers for reference if you do not understand). Short bursts of laser light are utilized to basically close down the vein.
  • Catheter assisted destruction a small tube is inserted into the vein which the tip is then heated. As the tube is extracted the heated tip destroys the vein.
  • Vein Stripping the vein is removed from a small incision.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy small varicose veins are removed through small puncture wounds.

As you can see there are many ways of treating varicose veins.

If you are in need of any foot or ankle care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Photo Credit: cooldesign via

Category: General

Tags: Leg Pain, Varicose Veins