2011-07-01 / Medical Info

Varicose veins can be more than just unsightly

By Jennifer Syrek M.D.

Those twisted, bulging veins visible just beneath the surface of your skin are called varicose veins.They are a result of a disease called venous insufficiency or reflux. Varicose veins appear in the legs and occur when the valves that control blood flow do not work properly. Blood flows backward and pools in the veins, causing symptoms.

Symptoms of venous insufficiency include the development of varicose veins, leg heaviness, throbbing, swelling, discolored skin, blood clots in the surface veins and open wounds. Women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Other factors include a family history of varicose veins, history of blood clots, pregnancy and obesity.The symptoms of venous insufficiency worsen with sitting or standing in one position for extended periods of time. Leg elevation, exercise, weight control and compression stockings improve the symptoms. People whose symptoms are not relieved by these lifestyle changes may benefit from surgical intervention. Currently there are minimally invasive techniques to treat venous insufficiency and varicose veins. I recommend VNUS ablation of the problem veins.This outpatient procedure uses radiofrequency energy under ultrasound guidance to close the veins rather than remove them.

Most patients are very satisfied with this minimally invasive procedure. They are home the same day, have no incisions, have very little postprocedure pain and can return to normal activities within a few days.

Dr. Jennifer Syrek is board certified in vascular surgery. She recently opened an office in the Medical Pavilion at Perth Amboy, at 516 Lawrie St., Perth Amboy. She has another office at 53 Main St. in Sayreville. To make an appointment, call 732-738-7871.

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