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Varicose Veins: Aesthetic or Health Concern?

If you’ve ever noticed purple or blue bulging veins across your legs or elsewhere in the body, you probably have varicose veins. While they can be unsightly and embarrassing, they can be more than just a cosmetic concern. 

General and vascular surgeon Dr. David W. Ranson in South Charleston, West Virginia offers a number of minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins that can help reduce their appearance and prevent any other complications. Here are just some of the health problems that can be associated with varicose veins. 

What are varicose veins? 

Sometimes people confuse varicose veins with so-called “spider veins.” Spider veins usually look like a thin red or blue web and occur just under the skin. Because spider veins occur close to the skin’s surface, they are not as dangerous as varicose veins are.

On the other hand, varicose veins are bulging, twisted veins that occur when the natural one-way valves in your veins weaken, leading to blood collecting and pooling. Varicose veins can occur anywhere but most often occur in the legs. Because varicose veins are generally larger, deeper veins, they can be signs of serious health problems. 

Varicose veins complications 

Varicose veins can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as itching, fatigue, burning, leg pain, tingling, restless legs, swollen legs, and throbbing. However, one hidden danger of varicose veins is that they can be a sign of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). 

CVI is a serious medical condition where blood collects in the veins of the lower legs, causing excess strain on the vein walls. If left untreated, CVI can cause leg pain, skin irritation, swelling, and ulcers. 

In addition to CVI, untreated varicose veins can lead to a number of other serious health complications. For example, the pooled blood in your veins can cause swelling in surrounding tissues, which can cause permanent changes to your skin. These changes to your skin can make it harder to heal in the future, leading to an increased risk of non-healing ulcers and recurring skin infections. 

People with varicose veins are also five times more likely to develop a blood clot in a deep vein, causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT requires immediate attention as the blood clot may break and travel to the lungs, causing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. 

While most varicose veins are unlikely to cause these serious complications, it’s important to get them treated sooner rather than later to avoid increasing your risks for these complications. 

Treatment options for varicose veins 

Previously, varicose veins were treated with invasive surgeries, such as vein stripping, which required going under general anesthetic, a longer recovery time, and carried risks, such as DVT, pulmonary embolism, and infection. Luckily, medical advancements in vein treatments have reduced the recovery time and risks for patients. Dr. Ranson offers the most medically advanced vein treatments available today, meaning your recovery time will be minimal. 


ClosureFast is a procedure that harnesses the energy of radiofrequency waves to heat vein walls until they collapse and seal, preventing blood from pooling in those areas. Compared with similar treatments, such as endovenous laser ablation, ClosureFast causes less bruising and less discomfort thanks to the use of radiofrequency energy rather than lasers. 


Depending on the size and location of your varicose veins, the non-thermal VenaSeal closure system may be more appropriate for you. During your VenaSeal treatment, Dr. Ranson uses a thin catheter with a dispensing tip to insert the VenaSeal medical adhesive to seal your varicose veins, allowing your body to redirect pooled blood to healthy venous pathways.  

Endovenous Transdermal Microfoam Ablation

Dr. Ranson also offers a minimally invasive foam ablation technique, which uses polidocanol foam to collapse the vein walls. Upon contact with the vein walls, this foam immediately causes the walls to contract and seal. Afterward, the foam dissolves harmlessly into your blood. 

Each of these minimally invasive vein procedures comes with different pros and cons to consider based on the size, location, and structure of your particular varicose veins. That’s why it’s so important to have a thorough consultation with a vein specialist like Dr. Davis Ranson. 

Don’t ignore your varicose veins and the many health risks they can cause. If you are struggling with varicose veins, call Dr. Ranson’s office at 304-301-3910 or request an appointment online today. 

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