Conservative Vein Treatment
Dr. Tif Siragusa of Siragusa Vein and Laser is one of Nashville’s “Top Doctors,” who is highly skilled and experienced in addressing all of the concerns that come with any type of vein disease. His comprehensive approach culminates in a personalized treatment plan to correct any and all of the vein problems you are experiencing.
As with any medical condition, chronic venous insufficiency should initially be treated as conservatively as possible to alleviate pain, discomfort, itching, swelling, restless legs, and other undesirable symptoms. During your first with Dr. Siragusa at our premier Nashville vein center, he will discuss all your options for conservative therapy. Some examples of conservative therapy include: wearing compression stockings, properly elevating your legs, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, exercising, losing weight when indicated, taking anti-inflammatory pain medication, and resting when possible.
Compression stockings may not make a stellar fashion accessory, but they can be invaluable in preventing varicose veins from getting worse. Medical grade compression stockings are tightest at the ankle, and work by squeezing the legs to help blood move up and out more normally, preventing the blood from pooling in varicose veins. We advise our patients to wear their compression socks from the moment they get up in the morning until they lay down for bed at night. They are available at our office as well as pharmacies in different strengths. After your assessment, Dr. Siragusa will recommend the appropriate strength and size based on your needs. Most commonly, patients with chronic venous insufficiency benefit from compression providing 20-30 mmHg of pressure.
Leg elevation is another first-line treatment option—but it is important to understand how to “properly” elevate your legs. Your feet and legs have to be above your heart to be effective, not merely up on a footstool, for at least 20 minutes, twice a day. Exercise of your feet and legs will improve circulation and help improve symptoms as well, even just walking for 2 minutes out of every half-hour, or 20-30 minutes a day. Repeatedly standing on your tip-toes is helpful for people who have to stand for long periods of time. If that isn’t possible, try alternately flexing and pointing your toes while seated.
And a few “don’ts”—wearing high heels, crossing your legs while sitting, and sitting or standing for long periods of time are all likely to worsen vein problems, thus should be avoided when possible.
Exercise is a great way to improve the circulation of blood in your legs. The simple act of walking utilizes our calf muscles, which in turn help to pump blood back up to the heart through our veins. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing vein disease and therefore maintaining appropriate body weight often helps slow the progression of this problem. Another dietary factor of importance is to maintain a low salt diet. This helps prevent leg swelling due to water retention.
For patients who suffer from painful veins, we typically recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). These medications are widely used for other forms of pain and seem to be the most effective option for pain secondary to varicose veins.
Although lifestyle changes may temporarily decrease the discomfort associated with venous insufficiency and slow down its progression, they cannot permanently cure varicose veins. If you are not satisfied with the level of relief provided by conservative treatments, Dr. Siragusa will explore other treatment options with you, and you can rest assured that you will receive the best vein care available in the Nashville area.