Many men wait to seek treatment for spider veins, varicose veins and other circulatory health concerns.

We understand why. Vein health concerns have long been talked about as a cosmetic issue. There’s no denying they can be unsightly, as well as painful.

At Circulatory Centers, we know varicose veins are a serious but treatable medical condition and may be a sign of underlying venous disease. Beneath the skin’s surface, veins bulge when the valves that regulate the flow of blood from the heart to the legs malfunction. Left untreated, these ropey veins can lead to phlebitis (vein inflammation), thrombosis, skin ulcers, blood clots and even embolisms that could result in death.

Insurance companies also recognize the importance of these treatments, covering more than 95% of our procedures.

At Circulatory Centers, we offer vein treatments that allow our patients to stay active longer. Our physicians are dedicated to getting you back on your feet and back to the activities you love as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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Caption: In dark or bulging varicose veins, shown at left, blood pools in the legs when faulty valves fail to close properly. The vein walls may weaken, creating swelling and leg pain.

 

VEIN TREATMENTS CAN IMPROVE MEN’S CIRCULATORY HEALTH

Dr. Robert A. Musson, Medical Director for Circulatory Centers, has heard the question plenty of times in his 20-plus years specializing in phlebology: Do men get varicose veins?

“This is certainly a valid question, since a quick look around my office on any given day reveals primarily female patients,” he said.

Men, too, get varicose veins, and they can be painful. Yet some men with the condition just won’t seek medical treatment for it.

“Many of our female patients will tell us, they can never get their husbands to go to the doctor. Somehow men seem to have a built-in tendency to just put up with their problems and not get them checked out in the office,” Dr. Musson said.

Risk factors for venous insufficiency include:

  • Heredity, which affects both sexes
  • Long periods of standing, which can affect anyone
  • And injuries to the leg, which also affects both sexes

“Men who are employed in heavy labor jobs (steelworkers and other industrial jobs, carpenters and other construction jobs, workers in warehouses and on loading docks, mail carriers, etc.) are most prone to developing the problem,” Dr. Musson said. “However, it can also develop in men who aren’t involved in heavy lifting but have jobs which require long periods of standing, such as teachers, retail, banking, doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

“Long-distance truck drivers are also at risk due to long periods of inactivity of the leg muscles, while the legs are in a dependent position (hanging down).”

Small surface spider veins appear more frequently in women because of hormonal differences, but men still are at risk for bigger, bulging varicose veins. With varicose veins, men and women may experience painful symptoms such as aching, throbbing, heaviness, tiredness, restlessness, and leg cramps. Additionally, men with more significant vein problems will often develop more serious long-term consequences of their veins, such as skin changes in the legs (brown patches or dry, itchy, scaly patches), ruptures of the veins with significant bleeding, or actual skin breakdown with the development of ulcers, or open sores.

“In my own experience in practice, many of the largest varicose veins that I’ve encountered have been in male patients,” he said. “Oddly enough, however, many of these same patients did not complain of pain.  Usually they were coming to see me either because their primary care doctor told them, ‘You should have that looked at,’ or because their wife told them to.

“The best part of treating these patients is when they come back to the office, they usually tell me that their legs feel better, even if they didn’t originally think that they had any symptoms at all.”

Dr. Musson’s approach to patients goes beyond just relieving leg pain and improving the appearance of their legs. His goal is to prevent the severe, long-term complications of venous insufficiency, such as skin changes, open sores, or ruptured veins. He and other Circulatory Centers physicians typically begin with a diagnostic ultrasound, and in most cases follow that with endovenousthermal ablation (either with laser or radiofrequency waves), and then sclerotherapy.

Most treatments are covered by insurance and are offered in the office with no down time or significant restrictions.

“Almost all of our male patients are glad that they chose to have treatment with us,” Dr. Musson said, “even if they weren’t too enthusiastic to start the process in the first place.”

 

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Caption: Ropey, varicose veins are apparent in the “before” images, above, of two male patients. After a series of vein treatments, the “after” images show reduction in swelling and painful bulges as the calves return to normal shape and size.

 

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