Athletes and other physically active people may think they are immune to unsightly and often painful varicose veins. Unfortunately, while exercise may reduce varicose vein risk for some, other factors play into whether those bulging, twisting veins will develop. Those factors can affect even the highest caliber of athletes, including Tour de France competitor George Hincapie and Summer Sanders, a swimmer with four Olympic medals in swimming.
Varicose veins may post little more than a cosmetic concern for some. However, those who depend on their legs daily for training and competition may experience accompanying symptoms like heaviness, achiness and throbbing, especially after a rigorous workout. Varicose veins can also allow waste products from metabolic activity to build up in the muscles, restricting performance for some athletes.
Treatment for Varicose Veins
In the past, athletes often shied away from varicose vein treatment, due to concerns that invasive procedures and prolonged recovery times could interfere with training regimens. Today however, there are a number of varicose vein treatments that are minimally invasive and require almost no downtime. Athletes can alleviate both cosmetic concerns and uncomfortable symptoms with little time away from their training schedule.
Treatment options might include:
- Compression Stockings – These prescription-grade stockings can alleviate symptoms during and after training sessions, but will not eliminate the varicose veins causing the symptoms.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation – Involves the insertion of a fiber into the affected vein, which delivers laser energy to heat the vein, sealing vein walls shut so the vein eventually disappears.
- Radiofrequency Ablation – Also referred to as VNUS Closure, this procedure works in a similar fashion to laser ablation, but uses radiofrequency energy to seal the vein closed.
- Sclerotherapy – Injections of a sclerosing agent are placed into the vein, which irritate the vein walls and cause them to seal shut and fade from view.
- Ambulatory Microphlebectomy – A minimally-invasive procedure that uses tiny incisions to insert a small instrument into the leg that removes the affected vein from the leg in sections.
All of these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis and require only a few days of recovery time before normal activities can be resumed. Procedures are considered a permanent solution to varicose veins, since veins are eliminated entirely.
Athletes do not have to suffer with painful varicose veins that impede their performance. To learn more about your options in varicose vein treatments, contact our staff at Incredible Veins, Skin and Body at 818-446-2995 to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Ebrahimi.