One of the questions we’re asked most frequently as New Orleans vein treatment specialists is, “OK…I know that I have varicose veins and that I’m a few pounds overweight. If I lose weight, will that make my varicose veins go away?”
We’re human, so we understand why people ask this, and we’d really love to give them the answer they’re hoping for. But we’re also doctors, so we can’t. What we have to say instead is, “Losing weight will be good for your overall health – and that includes your vein health – but it won’t eliminate your varicose veins.”
Unfortunately, varicose veins don’t just “go away”
The most common cause of varicose veins is a condition called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. If you have CVI, what that means is that the tiny, one-way valves that keep venous blood flowing in one direction (towards the heart) have become “leaky,” and are malfunctioning. Instead of closing properly when blood passes through them, they remain open, allowing blood to flow backwards and collect in the veins. This causes them to swell and become discolored, as they take on the bluish-purple color of deoxygenated blood.
And sadly, once these valves have become damaged by CVI, modern medical science doesn’t know any way to fix or repair them, either with drugs or surgery. If your varicose veins are not causing too many unpleasant side effects, we can treat them conservatively with exercise and compression stockings, and if necessary recommendations to lose weight. These conservative methods can help to reduce pain and swelling, but they will neither shrink your existing varicose veins, nor make them go away. In fact, left untreated, your varicose veins are likely to become worse, no matter how much weight you lose.
The only way to eliminate varicose veins is to have them removed
Varicose veins can’t be repaired, but they can be removed, and thanks to advances in medical science, they can be removed quickly, easily, and painlessly using minimally-invasive procedures so gentle that they can be performed in the comfort of our New Orleans vein clinic in about an hour. No hospitals, no general anesthesia, no scars, and no long recovery time because the procedures are so gentle there is nothing to recover from.
The procedures we use such as sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) close the damaged veins so that they collapse. Within a short time the closed veins are absorbed into surrounding tissue, while blood flow is automatically diverted to healthier veins in the area.
The vein removal process itself takes only about an hour, and is so non-traumatic that some patients actually have their varicose veins removed on their lunch hour, and then walk out and return to work that same day. And within a few weeks, the last traces of their previously swollen and discolored veins disappear, and their legs regain their original beauty. More important, with the damaged veins gone, their circulation, immune system, and overall state of health improve as well.
Don’t get us wrong – it’s still a good idea to lose weight
Sadly, most Americans could stand to lose a few pounds, and they’d be healthier without the extra weight. But if what you’re looking for is to get rid of your varicose veins, losing weight won’t do that for you. To find out how easily the New Orleans vein specialists at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center can get rid of them, just give us a call at, and we can explain how to get started on your path to healthier and more attractive legs.
Learn more about our varicose veins treatment.