After varicose vein treatment, does your body have to function with fewer veins? It’s a good question. To better understand, let’s explain how veins work and what happens in the body. A varicose vein is a vein with valves that aren’t working properly. When your heart beats, the arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to all of your organs and extremities. Veins carry all the (used) blood back to the heart to be oxygenated again. They do this by using one-way valves that only allow the blood to flow back toward the heart. When the valves become weakened or damaged, blood can collect in the veins causing them to become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. This usually occurs in the lower legs. Because the veins there are the farthest from your heart, gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward.
What Causes Valves to Fail?
So what exactly causes varicose veins to develop? Varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure in the veins. This pressure puts stress on the valves in the veins that carry the blood back to the heart. As pressure builds, the valves can fail causing the blood to pool in the veins, stretching them and causing them to bulge. Many factors can cause varicose veins to develop including heredity, weight gain, pregnancy, age, and occupation.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
Today’s varicose vein treatments offer multiple ways to get rid of malfunctioning varicose veins. The good news is that they are all outpatient and easy. We have learned that you don’t have to always physically remove the damaged veins from the body. But you do have to “damage” them enough that they shrink and die so that the body can rid itself of them. How does this work?
We have several ways of treating the afflicted veins with bad valves:
- Sclerotherapy – a concentrated liquid or foam solution is added to the failing vein causing it to shrink.
- RF – radio-frequency ablation uses heat to cause the vein to collapse
- Laser – laser ablation uses a tiny catheter inside the vein to heat it with laser energy to cause it to collapse
- Chemical – chemical ablation uses a specialized chemical to shrink the varicose veins.
- Phlebectomy – After the skin is numbed very small punctures are made and the vein is physically removed.
New Veins Replace Damaged Veins
Once the failing vein is treated, it shrinks and dies and is absorbed by the body and discarded as waste. So are you left with fewer veins to do the same amount of work? Wouldn’t that lead to stressing the remaining veins even further? Luckily, the human body is an amazing thing. It actually creates new veins to carry the blood to where it is needed! New blood vessels branch out of pre-existing ones in a process called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the body’s fundamental process to restore the delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors to damaged tissue. The growth of new blood vessels in the body is an important natural process used for growth, healing, and reproduction.