Varicose vein removal addresses cosmetic issues while preventing more serious problems

Varicose veins, and their milder counterpart, spider veins, are often considered unsightly, but for some they cause far more than cosmetic concern. In addition to pain and discomfort, varicose veins can often be symptomatic of larger issues that will make themselves known if left untreated.

Advanced Nurse Practitioner Ladan Abbasi, a member of The American College of Phlebology who works alongside Dr. Glen Tonnessen, cardiologist and board certified in vascular medicine at The Vein Institute of Hunterdon, said that for most patients with varicose veins heredity is the culprit.

“Eighty to 90 percent of patients have a positive family history,” she noted. “Other factors for women can include multiple pregnancies, hormonal changes, obesity, undiagnosed tumors, or cysts in the pelvis. Heavy lifting, long-time sitting and standing can cause it as well.”

When it comes to the potential risks varicose veins can pose, Abbasi explained that patients are classified across six categories depending on the severity of their conditions. The CEAP (Clinical, Etiologic, Anatomic, Pathophysiologic) classification designates, along with clinical factors, which treatment is most appropriate.

The vascular expert noted that in CEAP 1 typically spider veins are present. These can be addressed if they’re deemed unattractive by the patient but pose no health risk. CEAP 2 patients exhibit varicose veins, while CEAP 3 patients present with leg swelling as well. categories 4, 5 and 6, are more concerning as they reveal evidence of skin changes and ulcerations, which require treatment.

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