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Varicose veins and vein disease in general, are not only misunderstood by the public but also under-studied by many primary care physicians. That combination has led to many misconceptions about what varicose veins are and what treatments may be available to help alleviate them. Let’s take a look at the problems and some modern solutions.

The problem

Veins send blood back to the heart.  The veins in the legs must combat gravity to get blood back to the heart.  As we age, this process gets more difficult and some people will develop varicose veins in their legs and feet as a result. Appearing discolored and gnarled, varicose veins can cause pain for some while be just an unsightly annoyance to others.

One fix

Vein ablation is the primary method for treating varicose veins and is minimally invasive, requiring only an IV into the area being treated. This procedure shuts down abnormal leg veins and reroutes the small amount of blood they carry to other veins in the legs. Vein ablation is an in-and-out procedure that provides results in as little as four-to-six weeks, with a complication rate of less than 0.1 percent.  This is a far cry from the stripping procedures that used to be commonplace. Follow-ups are scheduled over the course of a year to ensure the treatment has been effective.

Common misconceptions

The two largest misconceptions about varicose vein treatments are that treatments will cause a significant amount of pain and downtime, and they will not be covered by insurance. Fortunately, the opposite is true. Advances in treatment technology now allow for less pain and downtime, and normal activities can often be resumed right after the treatment. And since varicose veins are a good indicator of underlying vein disease, the treatment of varicose veins is covered by most insurance carriers.

Conquer your fear

Fear is often the largest barrier preventing people from seeking treatment for their varicose veins. That fear may be due to horror stores they have heard about older, much more painful treatment techniques or concerns that they will have to pay out of pocket for the treatment.  A simple consultation with a medical professional is often all it takes to alleviate those fears and move on to a more happy and healthy life.

If you suffer from vein disease, Allure Medical offers free vein screenings and can get your treatment expedited before your deductible resets in January. Call 866-654-1793.

 

Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.

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