Health Watch: Relieving the pain of varicose veins

Ugly veins, pain and bleeding are symptoms of varicose veins in the legs can affect a person's self-image and their ability to do their jobs.

Varicose veins, common in the legs and feet, are enlarged, twisted veins that may occur as a result of prolonged standing or walking. For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern; for others, varicose veins can cause aching, pain and discomfort, leading to more serious problems.

SLUCare vascular surgeon, Dr. Matthew Smeds will often try compression stockings first. "What this does is it helps push the blood back from the toes all the way up to your thighs and it helps return the blood to your heart."

But stockings are not a solution for all patients.  Dr. Smeds then performs an outpatient procedure.  "It's like putting an IV in, basically below your knee.  And then through that IV, we pass a catheter inside the vein which destroys the vein from the inside out.  By destroying that vein, we're decreasing the incompetence in your leg and you are leaving only normal good veins behind."

This procedure often allows patients to return to their normal levels of work and play and ready to bear their legs again.

To learn more about treating varicose veins, click here.