Endovascular and Interventional Associates
Mobolaji Odelowo, MD
Vascular & Interventional Radiology & Vein Center located in Conroe, TX
Varicose veins can be an embarrassing problem, and they affect 35% of adults. But they’re more than a cosmetic problem. Varicose veins also cause leg pain and swelling, as well as serious complications like leg ulcers that refuse to heal. At Endovascular and Interventional Associates, Mobolaji Odelowo, MD, has extensive experience performing advanced, minimally invasive procedures that eliminate varicose veins. If you’re ready to do away with vein problems, call the office in Conroe, Texas, or request an appointment online today.
Varicose Veins Q&A
What causes varicose veins?
The veins in your legs depend on muscle movement and one-way valves to keep blood moving up your legs toward your heart. Muscle contractions push blood through the veins, while the one-way valves prevent blood from refluxing or flowing backward.
When a valve weakens and blood refluxes, you have a condition called venous insufficiency. As blood keeps building up, that section of the vein becomes engorged, and you end up with bulging, twisted, dark blue and purple varicose veins.
Do varicose veins cause symptoms?
Some people won’t have symptoms other than visible and unsightly veins. However, many people with varicose veins develop:
- Leg pain
- Heavy-feeling legs
- Edema (swelling due to fluid)
- Restless legs
- Itchy legs
- Muscle cramps
- Burning or throbbing
Without treatment, everyone with varicose veins (whether or not they have symptoms) faces the risk of complications. Venous insufficiency causes high blood pressure in your lower leg. That pressure leads to problems such as skin discoloration, skin rashes, and non-healing ulcers.
What does it mean to have a varicocele?
Varicoceles are similar to varicose veins, except the engorged and enlarged veins are in the scrotum, which is the pouch of skin that contains men’s testicles.
These veins normally reduce the temperature inside your testicles by draining blood from the area. As varicoceles block blood flow, the temperature rises. This problem can cause male infertility.
In addition to visible veins, varicoceles may cause pain when you’re active or standing for a long time. Then the pain usually feels better if you lay down.
How are varicose veins treated?
At Endovascular and Interventional Associates, Dr. Odelowo uses ultrasound imaging to view your veins and determine the extent and severity of the problem. Then he recommends one of the following treatments:
Endovenous ablation (radiofrequency ablation)
Endovenous ablation uses radiofrequency energy to close the vein. After Dr. Odelowo makes a tiny incision, he inserts a catheter into the vein.
Using real-time imaging, he guides the catheter to the end of the targeted vein, then slowly withdraws the device, sending out sound waves that heat the vein walls and make them collapse.
Your body naturally reroutes blood flow through another healthy vein and gradually absorbs the treated vein. As a result, the procedure restores normal circulation, and your varicose veins disappear.
VenaSeal accomplishes the same results as endovenous ablation, but instead of using heat, Dr. Odelowo uses a specialized glue to make the vein walls stick together.
How are varicoceles treated?
Varicocele treatment focuses on sealing the vein to stop blood from going through the enlarged vein and redirects it through a healthy vein. For varicoceles, however, this process uses open surgery, laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery, or percutaneous embolization.
During surgical procedures, Dr. Odelowo ties off the veins. He does a percutaneous embolization by inserting a narrow catheter into the vein. Then he uses the catheter to inject medicines that collapse the vein or to insert specialized coils that block the vein.
If you need help with varicose veins or varicoceles, schedule an appointment online or call Endovascular and Interventional Associates today.