According to one of the best vein doctors in Louisiana, your circulatory system is nothing short of a wonder. It starts with the heart, an organ only about the size of your closed fist, but which manages to circulate five liters of blood per minute through 60,000 miles of blood vessels 24 hours a day every day, for your whole life. Your blood vessels are the mechanisms that allow this circulation to take place – arteries to convey oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to your organs and extremities, and veins to convey deoxygenated blood and waste materials back to the heart and lungs for renewal.
How veins function differently than arteries
To keep your blood circulating, your arteries to some extent have an “easier job” because their walls are thick and contain internal muscles that contract to create the pumping motion that starts blood on its “downward” (away from the heart) journey. Your veins have thinner walls and no internal muscles, so they have to rely on the contraction of external muscles in your extremities to compress them so that blood is pushed “upwards” to the heart. This system works well as long as one aspect of your veins is working properly, the tiny, one-way valves that keep blood flowing in only one direction – towards the heart. In a healthy circulatory system, these veins open as blood is squeezed through them, but then close immediately to keep the blood from flowing in the other direction.
How does vein disease keep your veins from working properly?
If the tiny venous valves become damaged – from injury, trauma, the effect of drugs, or due to the actions of the most common vein disease chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) – they become “leaky.” Instead of flowing in the proper direction towards the heart, blood starts flowing in a backwards (reflux) direction, and begins to pool in the veins. And instead of emptying each time blood flows through them, the “leaky” veins fill with blood, causing congestion that impedes your circulation, and causing increased internal pressure that makes the veins swell. The resulting condition is called varicose veins.
So how can veins that have become “leaky” be repaired?
Sadly, they can’t be repaired. There are no drugs or surgeries that can “fix” the damaged venous valves. Conservative treatmentsuch as exercise and wearing medical-grade compression stockings can reduce the swelling of varicose veins and help to make their side effects easier to live with, but they can’t do anything about the swollen, discolored varicose veins themselves, and how they spoil the appearance of your legs.
What can be done is to close the diseased veins using treatments such as sclerotherapy, phlebectomy, or endovenous laser therapy (EVLT). Fortunately, these are all painless, minimally-invasive procedures so safe that they can be performed in under an hour in the comfort of our New Orleans vein clinic. Also fortunately, these treatments are so gentle that there is no scarring or “recovery time” needed because there is nothing to recover from. The closed veins are absorbed by your body, while healthier veins in the area take over.
How can I learn more about vein disease, and find out if I have it?
Just pick up your phone and call one of the best New Orleans vein treatment centers or go online to arrange for an initial consultation. Then just relax and allow the experts at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center to help your regain your health if you already have vein disease, or prevent it if you don’t.