Varicose veins can develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and faulty valves. Under a variety of circumstances, normally toned, elastic vein walls can become weak and allow the recirculating blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward.
One-way valves in these veins, which open and enable blood to flow through on its way upward, then close to stop blood from flowing backward, can also fail to function properly. This allows blood to pool and pressure to build up, which further weakens and subsequently damages the veins, causing them to become twisted, enlarged and painful. Up to 40% of women and 25% of men are affected by this condition, but fortunately treatment is available.
In less time it takes to watch a movie, you can get rid of the source of your varicose veins. The procedure, Endovenous Laser Ablation, takes anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour, and requires only a local anesthetic.
A thin laser fiber is inserted into the vein through a very small entry point, and the laser light that emits through this fiber will seal the faulty vein. While you might feel an unfamiliar sensation, it is not painful. This part of the procedure takes literally just a few minutes, and you can resume normal activity the same day, with instructions when it is safe to resume rigorous activities. Some patients may experience temporary soreness, which can be treated effectively with over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers and should subside within the first five days.