This is one the questions we are asked most frequently in our practice as spider vein and varicose vein doctors in New Jersey. The short answer is “Yes,” but to fully appreciate it, you need to understand how your veins work normally, and what causes them to become varicose.
What causes varicose veins?
Normal, healthy veins rely on a series of tiny, one-way valves that open in response to the contraction of surrounding muscles and allow blood to pass through them on its way back to the heart and lungs. These valves then close to prevent blood from flowing back into the veins. If the valves – as the result of damage or a disease called chronic venous insufficiency – begin to malfunction, they become “leaky,” and blood flows back into the veins and pools there. This is what causes the veins to swell and to become discolored, taking on the bluish-purple color of deoxygenated blood.
Can these diseased veins be fixed or repaired?
Once a vein has become varicose, the process cannot be reversed. Conservative treatment using compression stockings can improve your circulation and eliminate some of the pain that often accompanies varicose veins, but this will neither shrink the swollen veins or return them to their normal color. At this point, no medications have yet been discovered that will accomplish this.
So what can be done to eliminate these varicose veins?
Although varicose veins and the smaller spider veins cannot be healed, modern medicine can take advantage of the body’s own mechanisms to remove them and allow healthier veins in the area to take over the work of routing deoxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs. In the past, the only way to do this was via a surgical process called “vein stripping,” in which the surgeon made incisions in the skin and then literally scraped away the diseased veins with a scalpel. This was obviously not a pleasant process, and often left scars that were as unattractive as the varicose veins had been.
Modern medical science removes varicose veins by using minimally invasive methods to cause them to collapse and shrink. Over the next few days following treatment, the collapsed veins are absorbed into surrounding tissue and become invisible, and neighboring healthy veins take over to restore normal circulation.
What treatments are available to do this, and what do they involve?
All of the varicose vein and spider vein treatments provided by NJ vascular doctor John Chuback can be performed in the comfort of his Chuback Medical Group offices, in about an hour. One method used to treat spider veins is called sclerotherapy, in which a tiny catheter (smaller than the needle used to give you a flu shot) is inserted into the diseased vein and a sealing agent is injected to collapse and seal the vein. Other methods accomplish the same goal of closing the diseased veins using heat.
Within a few days you will start to notice relief from the pain and swelling that often accompanies varicose veins, and within a few months all visible traces of them will be gone. It is possible to develop new varicose veins, of course, but part of our ongoing vein disease treatment in New Jersey is to offer our patients advice on diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that can reduce the chances of this happening.
So if you’re interested in getting rid of your varicose veins, pick up your phone and call Bergen County vein specialist at 201-693-4847 to schedule an initial examination. Dr. Chuback and his caring staff will take care of the rest, giving you clear, understandable information about the various treatment options.