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Mansfield Magazine

What is Vein Disease? Take care of your achy legs.

Feb 15, 2013 02:06PM ● By Brian O

Trinity Vein Institute offers a range of procedures to promote vein health

Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from venous disease – a chronic and potentially debilitating condition where the vein walls or valves weaken, stretch or become damaged, and normal blood flow is interrupted. Blood begins to flow backward and increases pressure in the veins, causing more stretching, twisting, and swelling of veins. Ultimately this causes venous reflux disease with a variety of symptoms:

- heavy/achy legs
- restless legs
- cramping
- edema

In most cases, patients develop varicose and spider veins. In extreme cases — skin breakdown, discoloration and ulcers develop. Among physicians and within medical literature, vein disease is called, “venous reflux disease,” or “venous insufficiency.” Vein disease is treatable and covered by most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Vein disease is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. Leaking, weakened valves lead to varicose veins -- ropey, raised and bloated looking veins in your legs. Varicose veins can be tiny purple lines, “spider veins” or bulging twisty veins on the surface of your legs. More so, it may interrupt your activities and quality of life. If you stop being physically active because your legs hurt, this can have a domino effect on the rest of your health. 

The word “varicose” comes from the Latin word “varix,” which means “twisted.” And indeed, varicose veins are usually twisted, blue and bulging. As vein disease progresses, varicose veins enlarge and look like gnarled cords. Varicose veins occur only in the lower body (they don’t develop in arms). They can occur anywhere in your leg, from the groin down to the ankle. They most often appear in legs, although pelvic congestion syndrome and hemorrhoids are also varicose veins.

There are three types of veins in your legs:

- Superficial veins – These veins lie just under the skin and drain into perforator veins or deep veins.
- Perforator veins – These veins are in between superficial and deep veins, they drain into deep veins.
- Deep veins – These veins lie inside the muscles and carry most of the blood back to your heart.

Medical technology has advanced quickly in recent years with elegant new options for treating vein disease. Minimally invasive (endovenous) closure procedures have replaced hospital-based vein stripping. This opens the door for many patients who might have been advised that their venous problems were untreatable.

Trinity Vein Institute offers radiofrequency (Venefit) and non-thermal ablation (Clarivein) procedures in addition to microphlebectomy (removal of large ropey veins through tiny incisions. Various smaller varicose and spider veins can also be treated with sclero

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