Varicose veins, isn’t that something that affects women?
On the contrary, plenty of men are affected by varicose veins. It may not seem that varicose veins in men are as common, given that men may hide their varicose veins better than women, but about half of all men will develop or suffer from varicose veins at some point in their life.
What may cause varicose veins in men?
Overall, the underlying reasons for the development of varicose veins in men is the same as in women, which is high pressure in the veins. This high pressure can result from reflux, by which the valves in the veins no longer function to prevent blood from flowing backwards, leading to pooling of blood and higher pressure within the vein. High pressure can also be caused by obstruction, which occurs in the deeper veins of the legs. Obstruction is usually caused by a prior blood clot, which causes the vein to scar. This scarring prevents blood from adequately moving through the vein, causing high pressure. This increased pressure leads to the pooling of blood and development of varicose veins.
The causes for developing varicose veins are mostly the same in men and women, being, obesity, family history, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and age. The main difference between men and women is that men lack the same sex hormones as women and do not have to worry about pregnancy, which increase a woman’s risk to have varicose veins. Otherwise, men have the same risk as women.
What Symptoms and Complications can Varicose Veins Have?
Men tend to hide their varicose veins easier than women, wearing pants, so that their varicose veins may not be noticed. Men also tend to avoid seeking care early in their disease course. It is often that varicose veins are seen only as a concern for their appearance, especially when they first appear. Overtime, the varicose veins can cause symptoms of heaviness, swelling, throbbing, and cramping, which tend to worsen with time. Men may put off seeking care based on the appearance of their varicose veins, but once symptoms become severe and affect their work and personal life, they will then seek an evaluation. By this time, men may have more complications from their varicose veins by avoiding their symptoms until they become severe.
What Treatment Options do Men Have for their Varicose Veins?
Men have the same treatment options available as women to treat their varicose veins. These treatment options range from conservative therapy of compression stockings and exercise to sclerotherapy or endovascular treatments to permanently treat the veins.
If you are a man or know a man suffering from varicose veins, don’t put off having them evaluated. Earlier treatment can allow for avoidance of any complications or advanced disease. Just because they aren’t painful doesn’t mean it can’t eventually cause pain and problems.
Dr. Jose Almeida, a board certified surgeon, at the Miami Vein Center is a leading expert in the care of varicose veins in men and women. He has years of experience helping patients prevent, treat and manage the complications of varicose veins.