Myth #1: Veins Are Cosmetic, So Treatment Is Optional

Many people mistakenly think varicose veins and spider veins are only cosmetic issues. So, they assume treatment is optional. While some veins don’t require treatment, most vein damage in the legs stems from an underlying issue called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). This is a common, underdiagnosed disease that can cause serious complications. Left untreated, CVI can produce venous ulcerations that are resistant to healing. Veins can become so protuberant that bleeding is hard to control when the skin is bumped or nicked. Some patients develop a rash called venous stasis dermatitis. Others acquire hyperpigmentation on their skin.

In addition to these external symptoms, there are also several internal symptoms. Patients can develop swelling, restlessness, itching, heaviness, cramping, clotting, and pain in their legs. Unhealthy veins can disrupt sleep and produce debilitating complications. Only a doctor can determine whether you have CVI. Book an appointment with California vein specialists to avoid unnecessary risks and discomfort.

Are you confused about vein treatment myths and facts? What’s true and what’s not? This article will clear up any misconceptions about treating twisted veins.

Myth #2: Varicose Veins Require Vein Stripping Surgery

In recent decades, vein stripping surgery has been largely replaced by minimally invasive vein treatments. A small percentage of patients with blood clots or severely tortuous veins might need surgery. But most patients are better suited to a gentle, outpatient procedure like sclerotherapy or radiofrequency ablation. Don’t choose a vascular surgeon unless they’re also trained in these newer, less invasive methods. Our Harvard-trained vein doctors in California always use the gentlest modality that will eliminate your damaged veins.

Myth #3: Varicose Vein Treatment Is Painful

Varicose vein treatment is no longer painful, due to advances in venous medicine. Doctors can now inject veins with sclerosants, adhesives, and thermal energy, so painful surgical incisions are no longer required. Our spider and varicose vein treatments are so gentle that they don’t require spinal or general anesthesia. Patients remain awake and mobile and can walk immediately after treatment. They can even drive themselves to and from treatment. Our patients often visit us during a lunch break and resume their usual routine. There is no recovery time required for our painless procedures. The most patients will feel is a brief pinching or hardening sensation as the vein is closed.

Myth #4: Insurance Won’t Cover Treatment for Twisted Veins

Most insurance plans now cover treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. There’s growing research linking varicose veins to many other health conditions, including osteoporosis. This has increased the likelihood of insurance deeming vein treatment medically necessary. Each plan differs, and they don’t all cover every procedure. But our insurance experts are proficient at obtaining the coverage you need. The treatments with the longest track record and FDA-approval are the most likely to be covered. That’s why it’s important to choose a board certified vein specialist with access to the best vein technology. Our patients rarely have any out-of-pocket expenses for their vein care.

Myth #5: Every Vein Specialist Treats Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency often causes varicose veins and spider veins. But some vein specialists can’t treat it. Cosmetic vein centers can only provide treatments at the skin’s surface, which don’t address the causative issue in deeper veins. If you have damage in your leg veins, it’s especially important to choose a physician who treats CVI. In California, the qualified vein doctors include Dr. Carly Guthrie, Dr. Walter Lech, Dr. Jasmine Koo, and Dr. Billy Schoenfeld.

Myth #6: Varicose Veins and Spider Veins Always Return

A properly treated vein can’t return. Our vein specialists close veins off so that blood is rerouted into healthy veins nearby. Blood can no longer enter the treated vein, so it’s removed from the circulatory process and harmlessly absorbed by surrounding tissue. If your varicose vein or spider vein returns, it’s likely that you have untreated CVI, or that your vein specialist didn’t use the right technology. Untreated CVI can produce more spider veins and varicose veins in the same area. So, what looks like a recurrence might actually be a new vein. If your doctor uses a treatment that isn’t strong enough, or they don’t use ultrasound guidance to observe the treatment’s success, the vein may not fully close. To avoid this outcome, visit our specialists who are all trained in ultrasound-guided procedures and CVI treatment.

Myth #7: No One Develops Varicose Veins When They’re Young

Varicose veins are more common as we age, but they can develop at any time. They’re caused by excess pressure in a vein, and there are several factors that influence this. Family history is the number one predictor of varicose veins. If anyone develops bulging, twisted veins, they shouldn’t assume they aren’t varicose just because they’re young. The sooner you treat varicosities, the better your outcome will be.

Myth #8: Men Don’t Get Varicose Veins

Women get more varicose veins than men because of hormonal differences. Factors including pregnancy, menopause, birth control usage, and hormone replacement therapy can increase endovenous blood pressure and also increase hormone receptors on the vein walls. However, varicose veins are common in men as well. As men age and become more sedentary, and as women move past the age of hormonal fluctuations, the percentage of people with varicose veins becomes more similar in men and women.

Myth #9: Standing Doesn’t Cause Varicose Veins Like Sitting

You might have heard that an inactive lifestyle can worsen varicose veins. But that doesn’t only apply to people who sit for long periods of time. Standing for lengthy periods is also hard on veins. They must resist gravity while bearing our body weight to pump blood from the feet to the heart. If you have a job where you must stand for hours at a time, take breaks to get off your feet and elevate your legs when possible. Movement is the best solution, since muscle contractions help pump blood out of the leg veins. Whether you must sit or stand often, make sure to change positions and incorporate movement into your day.

Myth #10: Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins

Most varicose veins result from valve failure in deeper veins, not pressure on the surface of your skin. So, crossing your legs doesn’t cause varicose veins. However, sitting for too long with your legs crossed doesn’t help your circulation. So, if you already have varicose veins, you might find that symptoms like swelling and cramping increase when you’ve been sitting with your legs crossed for a long time. If you have varicose vein symptoms, call our office to learn how we can eliminate those bothersome blood vessels.