When normal, everyday activities such as walking, gardening or standing become painful, it can be incredibly disruptive to one’s daily life.
Venous hypertension, a condition that often results from high blood pressure, causes pressure to increase in the leg veins, resulting in instability in the walls of the veins as tissue begins to break down. Those who suffer from this condition feel discomfort while performing daily activities and often see changes to the surface of their skin, including the formation of varicose veins, discoloration, scaly skin and swelling.
However, there are ways to recognize, treat and prevent venous hypertension.
Symptoms: Not a Product of Age
Venous hypertension of the lower extremities is a chronic condition that can manifest in a variety of ways.
A person’s legs feel extra heavy and fatigued, especially toward the end of the day.
Additionally, a person can experience dermatitis, such as itching and burning of the skin, along with swelling, leg cramps, restless legs in the evening and throbbing. Generally, such symptoms are simply tolerated for an extended period of time before finally seeing a physician.
Fortunately, there are advanced treatment options that greatly improve the condition.
Advanced Treatment Options
VNUS® RF ablation is a procedure that targets the damaged veins causing the hypertension in the lower extremities. A person first undergoes an ultrasound to identify broken veins or veins that are carrying blood in the wrong direction. Both prevent the leg from emptying its blood supply, resulting in the aforementioned symptoms.
Once the vein is located, a catheter is inserted inside the vein through a small incision and is sealed shut with radiofrequency energy. This targeted procedure is able to identify the exact vein causing the symptoms, assuring little disruption to the patient’s overall well-being.
VNUS® RF ablation is an outpatient procedure requiring minimal recovery time.
The procedure is also much more efficient and precise than formerly used vein stripping procedures. Vein stripping requires the removal of large sections of vein, rather than the simpler ablation or cauterizing of the damaged vein.
Preventative Steps Preserve Long-Term Health
As with most health issues, individuals can take steps to prevent the development of venous hypertension. Such steps include regular exercise, watching one’s weight and wearing compression stockings if patients are on their feet most of the day.
Again, many mistake venous hypertension as strictly an age-related affliction, but younger individuals can develop it as well. There is also a genetic component, and pregnant women are among the most susceptible due to the added pressure of carrying a child.
If you are experiencing the symptoms described, it’s essential to seek care.
VNUS® RF ablation is not simply a cosmetic procedure, even though it’s employed to address varicose veins. In fact, correcting the issue can prevent general health complications down the road.
Dr. Ron Ernst is a board-certified general surgeon with Columbus General Surgery.