If you suffer from varicose veins, you’re a member of a very large club. Some 25 million Americans face a daily struggle with the swollen, ropey veins that can cause throbbing pain, severe swelling, and heavy, tired legs.
Half of all Americans over 50, and two-thirds of women over 60, have the condition. And many have dealt with it for decades, because varicose veins can appear even in teenagers too young to vote.
Heredity is a factor in venous reflux disease – if your parents or siblings have had varicose veins, you're more likely to develop them – and people who are obese or have had multiple pregnancies are particularly susceptible, because the extra weight adds strain to the veins. Women are more vulnerable to the problem than men, partly because the hormonal changes brought on by menstruation, menopause and hormone-based drug therapy can relax vein walls and cause venous reflux.
Your lifestyle, particularly physical activity, can affect your odds of developing varicose veins as well. People whose careers require them to stand in place for long periods of time – nurses, teachers, waitresses, flight attendants and other service personnel, for example – have a higher-than-average risk of venous disease. So do people who do a good deal of heavy lifting.
Once it appears, venous reflux disease never goes away by itself – it's a progressive condition that can only worsen unless treated. Fortunately, the minimally-invasive, device-based advances in medical technology that have so profoundly impacted heart, lung and brain surgery in recent years are now having a similarly revolutionary impact on the treatment of varicose veins. The next-generation VNUS ClosureFAST™ catheter represents the cutting edge of that technology.
Mankato Clinic surgeons, Dr. Bryan Wood and Dr. Stephen Marchuk invite you to schedule a consultation to determine if the VNUS procedure is right for you by calling the Mankato Clinic Surgery Department at 507-625-1811.
Click here to download an informational brochure about VNUS.