Cardiovascular Care Center
Shahrzad Shareghi, MD
Interventional Cardiologist located in Simi Valley, CA
An estimated 20% of adults will develop varicose veins at some point in their lives. If you live in Simi Valley, California, Dr. Shahrzad Shareghi at Cardiovascular Care Center can help you move beyond painful or unsightly varicose veins. Advancements in medical technology offer treatment options that were unavailable just a few years ago. Schedule an appointment online, or call the office to check availability.
What are varicose veins?
To understand varicose veins, it helps to think about how your circulatory system works. Every time your heart beats, blood is pumped through your arteries. That blood returns to your heart via veins.
Your veins have tiny valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. If those valves malfunction, blood can begin to pool in your veins. That leads to enlarged and gnarled veins with a bluish tint.
What causes varicose veins?
As you age, you’re more likely to develop varicose veins. Your vein walls lose elasticity and begin to stretch, which can weaken the valves.
Pregnancy is another common cause of varicose veins. While pregnant, your body produces more blood, but the flow of blood to your pelvis and legs decreases. That creates additional pressure on the veins in your legs, which can cause varicose veins. In some cases, the affected veins return to normal after childbirth.
These risk factors can increase your chances of developing varicose veins:
- Family history of varicose veins
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods
Are varicose veins a medical issue as well as an aesthetic concern?
Most people with varicose veins seek treatment to address the aesthetics of enlarged, knotted veins. However, varicose veins can also cause serious medical issues.
Complications of varicose veins include:
- Ulcers, or open sores
- Blood clots in your legs
Treating varicose veins eliminates these risks, and it also improves the aesthetics of the treated area.
What is an IVC filter?
If Dr. Shareghi believes you’re at risk of blood clots, an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter may be a good treatment option. This device prevents blood clots from traveling through the IVC to your lungs from your lower extremities, pelvis and abdomen.
When a blood clot forms in a vein located deep within your body, it’s known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The clot can damage the valves in your veins, causing blood to pool.
Symptoms of DVT include pain, tenderness, or swelling in your leg. If the blood clot reaches your lung, a pulmonary embolism can occur. The result can be shortness of breath or even loss of life.
An IVC filter is put into place during a surgical procedure. The process works in much the same way as stenting, using a thin catheter to position the filter. If a blood clot reaches the filter, its journey stops there.
To learn more about these and other vein treatments, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shareghi today.