By Federico M. Richter, MD
It’s typically associated with women, but 45% of men will develop varicose veins. One out of two people over the age of 50 have varicose veins, but that’s not to say that younger people can’t also develop them. For men and women, the main risk factor is a family history of varicose veins, but some of the other risk factors include being overweight, standing or sitting for long periods of time, blood clots, abdominal pressure, or frequent crossing of the legs. For females, hormonal imbalance, and birth control medications are also top risk factors.
Varicose veins can cause tingling, throbbing, weakness, a sensation of heaviness in the legs, restlessness, and dark blue or purple bulging veins in the legs, calves or behind the knee. Varicose veins can cause pooling of the blood and blood clots, but not all varicose veins are initially dangerous or systemically damaging.
Many individuals find relief from compression garments, elevating the legs, cold compresses and rest, but once you have varicose veins, these remedies will not “heal” their underlying issue.
Years ago, the only options for alleviating varicose veins was surgery, which includes stripping (removes long portions of the vein), or ligation, which ties the vein off from the blood supply. These treatments are still used in some instances, but now there are other options.
• Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy – A minimal invasive painless treatment to treat the veins in an outpatient 15 minute procedure.
• Endovenous thermal ablation – The procedure uses laser energy to collapse the vein. Under Ultrasound guidance, this treatment is offered in the office.
• Varithena – An injectable foam treatment, which makes the vein naturally scar shut.
• VenaSeal – This FDA approved treatment for varicose veins utilizes a small catheter, which is inserted into the vein. An adhesive material is injected through the catheter into the vein to close it off.
Not all varicose veins pose a health threat, but because proper blood circulation aids the body’s flow of nutrients and oxygen to the heart, brain and other organs, it’s essential to get a medical consultation to discuss the severity of your venous condition and your treatment options. Varicose veins can lead to venous insufficiency which is a valve and vein condition that can be dangerous if left untreated.
Symptoms of venous insufficiency:
• Swollen legs
• Discoloration on skin (brown or red)
• Tingling/burning/itching sensations
If you or someone you love is experiencing any venous issues, please contact your physician immediately.
About Federico M. Richter, MD
Dr. Richter was born and raised in Argentina and grew up in a family of vein doctors. His Grandfather, one of the first vein specialists in Argentina, helped pioneer sclerotherapy for treatment of varicose and spider veins in the 1940s. His Father has been treating veins for over 45 years.
Dr. Richter recently re-located from the busy suburbs of Indianapolis where he completed his residency and practiced for 5 years. Since completion of his residency here in the United States, he has also focused on the newest developments in minimally invasive vein treatments. Dr. Richter received his medical degree in Argentina in 2003 from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. He then completed a year of general surgery and a 3-year Fellowship in vein and lymphatic disorders in 2007. As a venous and lymphatic medicine specialist, he is dedicated to treating varicose and spider veins and their underlying causes.
With over a decade of experience in the specialized medical field of diagnosing and treating vein disease, Dr. Richter was one of the first doctors to use lasers to treat a variety of vein diseases in Argentina. Certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and an active member of the American College Of Phlebology, Dr. Richter has also accumulated an impressive list of qualifications and educational accomplishments during the course of his career.
Dr. Richter’s 1st priority is the well-being and quality of life his patients in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Sun City, Ruskin, and surrounding areas.
To schedule a consultation, call Vein Centers at Erasers
6050 53rd Ave. East (SR70), Suite A, Bradenton, FL 34203