It’s the feeling of tired, heavy legs and, aching feet that won’t go away no matter what kind of shoes you buy. It affects your quality of life and often goes without the right diagnosis and treatment. You may have varicose veins and chronic venous disease that is caused by gravity and is completely treatable.
The problem is in the veins of your legs. Blood that flows through your leg veins must travel uphill to get back to the heart — against the forces of gravity. Newton’s Laws dictate that for anything to travel uphill it must be pumped, and that’s what happens when we walk. Our calf pump constricts around the veins and milks the venous blood back towards the heart. Think of your calf muscle as a second heart.
Now here’s the rub. Since Ford invented the car and Gates invented the PC, folks have quit walking. And as we sit and stand, blood is constantly being delivered to our legs, but it struggles to return to the heart. Treatment for venous disease is three-fold. First, I recommend my patients get on a walking program, with a minimum of at least one mile a day. Second, I recommend patients invest is some properly fitted “graduated compression socks.” These socks are anti-gravity devices that fit snug at the ankle and loosen up as they go up your leg. They relieve the pressure on your dysfunctional veins, and often, in addition to walking, can restore your quality of life by minimizing the symptoms of venous disease.
Third, if walking and compression socks don’t work, we offer straight-forward, safe, outpatient procedures that can effectively treat this condition with minimal invasion and downtime. These are called ablative procedures. Thermal ablation uses either laser energy or radiofrequency energy via tiny catheters inserted to close the dysfunctional veins. Ambulatory Phlebectomy uses small (2mm) incisions to remove “ropey” varicose veins once and for all. These procedures are done with the local anesthesia lidocaine. Lastly a mild “sclerosant” can be injected into the remaining dysfunctional tributary veins to close them. These procedures provide my patients almost instantaneous relief. (The old “vein stripping” procedures went out with the dinosaurs.)
So it is simple. If gravity is getting the best of you, schedule an appointment for a consult and a venous ultrasound. Start living the quality of life you deserve with some very simple measures that defy gravity.
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