MANHATTAN – On first appearance, you might think those dark blue and purple veins under your skin on your legs are just an ugly, annoying, cosmetic issue that can be solved by covering up— you’d be wrong. Varicose veins are a medical condition whose treatment is covered by most insurance. So, we turned to a renowned Upper East Side cardiologist to find out why now is the best time to get care.
“It might start to feel itching, burning, cramping or aches in your legs,” explains Dr. Satjit Bhusri of the Vein Institute at Upper East Side Cardiology, “but left untreated, varicose veins can get hard, hot and painful in some cases.”
Varicose or spider veins could also be a sign of a larger issue and for most people self care just won’t cut it.
“Varicose veins are the thick, ropey, purple or blue veins that appear on the surface of your skin,” says Dr. Bhusri, adding “they’re also an indicator of otherwise invisible vascular health problems— things like blood clots, bleeding and leg ulcers.”
Typically we think of older people when we talk about varicose veins, but it isn’t necessarily an age issue– Dr. Bhusri says family history is actually the biggest risk. Others include being overweight or spending a long time on your feet every day.
LEARN MORE: Take UES Cardiology’s Vein Screening Survey
“Your veins have small valves that help push your blood toward your heart,” Dr. Bhusri explains, “when those valves are weak or don’t work properly, your blood can flow backward, pool, and cause a varicose vein to form.”
There’s no reason to be worried though, varicose veins can easily be fixed with a simple in-office procedure covered by most insurance. Upper East Side Cardiology uses state-of-the-art vascular ultrasounds to visualize veins and identify areas of weakness and blockage.
“What we do is close off the damaged varicose vein,” Dr. Bhusri told us, “that forces blood to flow through healthier veins and over time the varicose vein will just disappear.”
If that sounds easy, thats because Dr. Bhusri says it is—
“The hardest part of fixing the problem is walking through our door.”