One of the most disturbing phenomena that we see often as doctors and have to deal with is denial – in particular, patients who know that they have a medical problem, but who fail to seek the treatment that they need. In some, denial takes the form of ignoring symptoms, and thus failing to seek medical help. In others, the denial is so strong that even after they’ve seen a doctor and been told that they need treatment, they fail to follow their doctor’s advice.
Because at Chuback Medical Group we specialize in vein disease, we see both types of denial. We often see patients who have obviously had varicose veins for years, but who managed to ignore their symptoms until the pain and discomfort became too much for them to bear. And we meet other patients who, when told that they need treatment or their symptoms are going to get even worse, walk out the door and promise to schedule an appointment, but never do.
WHY do patients fail to take vein disease seriously?
Many patients fail to seek the treatment they need because of misinformation they’ve heard about vein disease. They think, “Varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem, so I don’t really need treatment for them…I’ll ignore the advice of the top vein doctor in Bergen County and just live with them.”
This is a mistake. Varicose veins are a sign of a serious vein disease. Without treatment, their varicose veins often cause swollen legs and ankles so painful that they can barely walk. And if at that point they continue trying to “live with” their varicose veins, they often find that their legs become infected and covered with open, bleeding sores that won’t respond to topical treatment and refuse to heal.
More important, failing to get treatment cripples your immune system
The side effects of untreated varicose veins discussed above are bad enough in themselves, but they are far from presenting the whole story. If you fail to get treatment, the real damage is being done to your circulation and to your immune system, beneath the surface of the skin, where you can’t see it. Make the mistake of trying to “live with” your varicose veins, and every day you do so you increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and stroke. More immediately, you also increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a more serious vein disease that kills over 300,000 Americans every year.
So what should you do instead of “living with” varicose veins?
First, seek vein disease treatment in New Jersey. Second, pay attention to what your New Jersey vascular doctor tells you. If he recommends conservative treatment (weight loss, exercise, wearing compression stockings), then do it. Failing to follow through will essentially cause all of the symptoms we discussed above.
If your doctor feels that your vein disease has advanced to the point that the best option is to treat the diseased veins entirely, you should strongly consider it. Do this not just for “cosmetic reasons,” but because such treatment could literally save your life. If you have further questions, give us a call at 201-693-4847 and we’ll be happy to answer them.