Figuring out the difference between medical facts and medical misunderstandings can be a challenge in any area of health, and that certainly applies to our veins. Here are a few of the most common myths relating to vein health.
- Only “Vein Stripping” Surgery Can Cure Varicose and Spider Veins. This is actually two misconceptions combined into one. Fortunately, a number of minimally invasive therapies have replaced the older surgical treatments for the vast majority of varicose and spider vein patients. These treatments offer greatly reduced recovery time and typically only minimal discomfort. Less fortunately, calling any of these treatments a “cure” is not entirely accurate. While enlarged veins can disappear thanks to treatment, there is no guarantee that the condition will not reemerge later on.
- Insurance never covers vein treatments. In some cases, it’s true that an insurance company may refuse to cover a treatment if it determines that treatments for enlarged veins are strictly cosmetic. However, in most cases a very strong case can be made that treatments are necessary, primarily to relieve discomfort and head off more serious problems later on. In these cases, insurance will usually cover a treatment.
- Varicose and spider veins only happen in elderly women. While many middle-aged and older women do, indeed, suffer from these conditions, not every patient is older and not every patient is female! Younger women and men of all ages sometimes really do come down with enlarged veins and they share the same excellent prognosis if they are treated properly.
- Varicose Veins are Caused by Excessive Standing and/or Running and Walking. While it does seem to be case that people who have to stand a lot as part of their daily routine are more bothered by pain related to enlarged veins, there isn’t enough evidence to support the thesis that they are actually caused by standing. As for running and walking, these are healthy activities that may actually help your veins. Certainly, obesity, which is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle, is an important risk factor for enlarged veins. So, if you’re running or walking a great deal, keep it up; if you’re not, consider taking up a healthy exercise regimen. (And be sure to bring it up with your doctor!)
- Although they are unattractive and sometimes painful, varicose and spider veins have no medical importance. Varicose veins can be more than an unsightly, itchy nuisance. They can lead to issues, such as venous ulcers, which can cause permanent damage to the skin. Even more seriously, they can be associated with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious blood clotting issue which can threaten organs, with sometimes life-threatening consequences.
If you’d like to learn more about what is and is not true about the health of your veins, please contact our team here at Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center today at the phone number on this page or through our contact page.