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Varicose Veins: What You Need to Know

Varicose veins are the visible surface manifestations of an underlying problem with reverse venous flow, which is also termed venous insufficiency syndrome.

Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. These veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs and back towards the heart. If theses valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

When identifying this condition, your veins can appear to be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They can also become raised above the surface of the skin and often resemble twisted, bulging cords.

Varicose veins are a very common condition in the United States and affect approximately 30-50 percent of adults. Women are four times more likely than men have varicose veins, and they become more prevalent with age.

If left untreated, varicose veins may lead to serious problems such as Thrombosis or venous stasis ulcers. Additionally, varicose veins may also indicate that you are at higher risk of other disorders of the circulatory system.

If you are currently suffering from varicose veins and find that walking or standing is painful, it’s important that you seek medical attention. If a sore develops on or near a varicose vein, or if your feet or ankles swell, call your doctor immediately.

There are several different treatment options for varicose veins, including procedures that involve heat, lasers or the injection of chemicals into the vein.

Treatment for Varicose Veins

At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, specializes in treating the venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins by utilizing advanced ultrasound technology.

“We use Radiofrequency Closure,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “We close down the faulty vein, allowing the oxygen to get to the muscles and the nerves. This keeps the de-oxygenated blood from pooling as it does with venous insufficiency.”

The closure procedure is performed in the office and takes roughly 30 minutes to perform. Using ultrasound guidance, a thin catheter is inserted into the diseased vein and delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall.

“We do an ultrasound of the lower extremity and actually measure the diameter of the vein,” said Dr. Goldbuam. “We can then measure the distance between Point A and Point B and measure the speed of the blood flow. If it doesn’t make the proper numbers, then we can conclude that the patient has venous insufficiency.”

As the radiofrequency energy is delivered and the catheter is withdrawn, the vein wall is heated, causing the collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close.

Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to healthy veins and circulation will begin to improve. For an easier understanding, Dr. Goldbaum likens the procedure to fixing a traffic jam – when one road is blocked, cars simply take a detour to get to their destination.

The procedure is performed using local anesthesia and there is virtually no postoperative discomfort.

“The patient walks in and then walks out with only one stitch,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “It’s a nice procedure and takes away a lot of the problems caused by venous insufficiency.”

Most patients notice an improvement in their symptoms within a few days after receiving radiofrequency treatment. Studies have shown that the Closure procedure has a 95% long term success rate. The procedure is approved by the FDA and is covered by medical insurance plans and Medicare.

Follow Delray Beach Podiatry on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry

The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100



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