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Vanquish Varicose Veins at Southern California Vein Center

Millions of Americans are affected by varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Symptoms range from minor aching and leg swelling to painful, rope-like cords in the legs. Left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to severe pain, ulceration of the skin, deep vein thrombosis and death.

At Southern California Vein Center, board-certified Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon James McPherson, MD, FACS, specializes in the latest minimally invasive techniques and treatments to address cosmetic and medical issues associated with varicose veins. Here, he shares more about varicose veins and treatment options.

Q. What causes varicose veins?

A. Arteries transport blood from the heart to the body, including the arms and legs. Veins bring the blood from the arms and legs back to the heart. The pressure in the veins is much lower than the pressure in the arteries. As the veins use valves and leg muscles to keep the blood traveling in the right direction, if the valves give out, the blood travels in the wrong direction, aka reflux, often causing the blood to pool at the next working valve and resulting in a bulging, or varicose, vein.

Q. What are some of the reasons that patients suffer with this problem?

A. People who spend a lot of time on their feet are at greatest risk. This includes people in the restaurant and hospitality industry, first responders, teachers, flight attendants and moms! Pregnancy is also a risk factor. Some people think varicose veins are a cosmetic problem that is not covered by insurance, so they live with it until the symptoms become unbearable.

Q. Are varicose vein procedures a cosmetic surgery?

A. Not always. We use ultrasound to carefully diagnose and map out the veins in your legs. This shows if the problem is deeper than your skin. The diagnosis and treatment of venous insufficiency is covered by most insurance plans. Each treatment plan is tailored to the patient’s needs—some procedures are cosmetic (though still important!), and some may be a medical necessity.

Q. Is the treatment painful?

A. No. In contrast to the “vein stripping” procedures, which are rarely done anymore, we now use minimally invasive techniques to treat varicose veins. Some patients are candidates for thermal ablation such as laser or radiofrequency. Thermal ablation procedures are done under local anesthesia. Non-thermal ablation like foam sclerotherapy usually do not require anesthesia. The procedures are done in a beautiful office setting where doctors and staff ensure patient comfort before, during and after the procedure.

Q. When can I resume work and activities?

A. Patients go home the same day and many return to work in a day or two, depending on the nature of the work. I usually recommend to patients who undergo an ablation procedure that they avoid working out for about a week.

“Getting your legs looking and feeling healthy and beautiful is not just our job, it our passion,” says Dr. McPherson. “There is no reason that you should not live your fullest life because of achy, swollen legs. Get your legs back. Get your life back.”

Call 805.988.2033 to schedule a free screening or learn more at SouthernCaliforniaVeinCenter.com.

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