NJ Cardiovascular Institute
Kunal Patel, MD, FACC
Board Certified Cardiologist & Varicose Vein Specialist located in Secaucus, Elizabeth, Paramus, and Lakewood, NJ
Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic concern, as they can also be a sign of circulation issues. Board-certified cardiologist Kunal Patel, MD, at NJ Cardiovascular Institute in Elizabeth and Secaucus, New Jersey, is a varicose vein specialist. He uses advanced diagnostic tools to assess vein health and determine the best course of action. For an appointment with a vein specialist, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online.
Varicose Veins Q & A
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are the thick, twisted, bulging veins most often seen on the legs, although they can occur anywhere on your body. Varicose veins -- and spider veins, which are smaller varicose veins near the skin’s surface -- are often seen as a cosmetic concern. But for some people, varicose veins can affect blood circulation and lead to health issues such as stasis ulcers.
Your veins are responsible for returning your blood back to your lungs and heart for reoxygenation. Veins contain a series of valves that open and close as your muscles push the blood forward to prevent backflow. If these valves are weak or they become damaged, they may not close all the way, allowing a backflow of blood and the development of varicose veins.
When should I see a doctor about my varicose veins?
If you don’t like how your varicose veins look or they’re causing pain, then contact Dr. Patel at NJ Cardiovascular Institute for an evaluation. Other signs and symptoms that warrant a visit include:
Burning, throbbing, or muscle cramping
Your legs are painful, swollen, or tender
Itching at the site of your varicose vein
Have leg wounds that won’t heal
Change in skin color around the varicose vein
While complications are rare, your varicose veins may lead to the development of blood clots, and as previously noted, stasis ulcers.
If your primary concern is cosmetic, that’s still a valid reason to see Dr. Patel to discuss your varicose veins. You don’t have to live with your unsightly veins, and if left untreated they can get worse.
You don’t need a physician’s referral for a varicose vein evaluation, and Dr. Patel can see you right away.
What can I expect during a varicose vein evaluation?
Dr. Patel conducts a comprehensive examination when you come in with concerns about varicose veins. In addition to evaluating your veins and discussing your goals, he also reviews your medical history and symptoms and conducts a physical exam. To evaluate circulation, Dr. Patel may also recommend diagnostic testing such as:
An ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound wave technology to generate images. Dr. Patel uses the vascular ultrasound to evaluate your veins and see how well the valves in your veins are functioning.
The Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound used to assess the blood flow through your veins.
The duplex ultrasound combines the traditional and Doppler ultrasound to further evaluate how blood flows through your veins.
Based on the information gathered during your evaluation, Dr. Patel creates a personalized treatment plan to not only improve circulation, but also the look of your varicose veins.
What are the treatments for varicose veins?
Treatment for your varicose veins may depend on how your veins affect circulation. In mild cases, Dr. Patel may recommend treatments you can do at home, such as keeping your feet raised when you can and wearing compression stockings to improve blood flow.
If the at-home treatments aren’t helping your varicose veins, Dr. Patel may recommend other treatments, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA is considered one of the safest and most effective solutions for improving circulation in the legs and the appearance of varicose veins. RFA is minimally invasive, can be performed in less than one hour, and involves little to no downtime.
Insurance may cover the cost of your treatment depending on the type of insurance you have. Coverage is most often approved if your ultrasound shows abnormal blood flow and you’re experiencing symptoms, such as pain, swelling, changes to your skin, or ulcers. However, conservative treatments may need to be trialed before your insurance carrier agrees to cover the cost of a more invasive treatment. Dr. Patel works closely with you during this process.
For a varicose vein evaluation, contact NJ Cardiovascular Institute or use the online booking button to schedule an appointment today.