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Fighting Varicose Veins

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Updated: 6/21/2012 6:10 pm
Lisa Hindsley's legs ache because of her varicose veins. 

She is having an office procedure that gets rid of them. 

"Your leg hurts all the time. It's kind of an achy feeling; once in a while you get sharp pains," Hindsley said.

Blood in our veins is supposed to head in one direction as it goes back to the heart. But in people with varicose veins the valves that help regulate this blood flow may get weakened, allowing blood to travel backwards. 
Blood pools within the vein, and collects. That can cause the vein to distend or ache or hurt.

The condition is often hereditary, more common in women than men, and in people who are overweight. Doctors now can use a procedure to close off the enlarged veins. This procedure uses a radio frequency element which essentially means just a heater probe. 

A catheter is put into the vein, and heat from the probe causes the abnormal vein to collapse and seal shut. Blood then gets diverted to other veins that carry it to the heart. This procedure is less invasive than an older technique, where the vein is surgically removed.   

Hindsley says she has no more pain, and is able to get back to one of her favorite activities: her daily walks. 




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