Varicose Veins


Varicose Veins

Most people treat varicose veins to improve their appearance or get relief from symptoms like leg pain, but you may not realize they can cause health concerns. John Bollins, DO, and the caring team at Advanced Surgical Associates of Northern Minnesota recommend seeking early treatment for varicose veins to prevent complications, such as skin rashes, nonhealing leg ulcers, and infections. Call the office in Hibbing, Duluth, or Ely, Minnesota, or book online today to get an evaluation and minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins.

Varicose Veins Q & A

Why do I have varicose veins?

Varicose veins begin when one-way valves in your leg veins weaken or fail. Blood goes up your leg veins, working against gravity as it travels back to your heart. Valves inside the veins keep the blood flowing in one direction, preventing it from going back down your leg (refluxing).

Damaged valves let the blood reflux, a condition called venous insufficiency. As the blood builds up below the valve, the vein becomes engorged, enlarged, twisted, and dark bluish-purple as it bulges above the skin’s surface.

Am I at risk for varicose veins?

You have a higher risk if you:

  • Have a family history of varicose veins
  • Are currently pregnant
  • Are female
  • Are overweight
  • Spend too much time sitting or standing

In addition to one-way valves, your leg veins depend on muscle movement to push blood up your legs. Blood pools in your leg and causes valve damage if you don’t regularly walk or move your legs.

Are varicose veins painful?

Varicose veins are painful for many people, but not all. You could have various symptoms, including:

  • Leg pain or cramping
  • Heavy-feeling legs
  • Burning sensations
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Restless legs
  • Dry, itchy skin

The blood buildup increases pressure in the lower leg vein. As a result, you may develop a skin rash, skin discoloration, and leg wounds (ulcers). These ulcers don’t heal without wound care, putting you at risk for serious infections.

What treatments eliminate varicose veins?

Advanced Surgical Associates of Northern Minnesota offers several treatments that safely and effectively eliminate varicose veins, including:



If you choose sclerotherapy, your provider uses a tiny needle to inject a medication. The sclerosing agent makes the vein walls collapse. Your body naturally removes the treated tissues and reroutes the blood through a healthy vein.


Venous ablation

Ablation uses heat from a laser or radiofrequency energy to close the vein. Then the vein goes through the same process as sclerotherapy: Your body absorbs the tissue, eliminates the treated vein, and restores healthy circulation through another vein.



VenaSeal is an injectable treatment containing a medical-grade adhesive that makes the vein walls stick together. VenaSeal is designed to stay in the vein, so your vein isn’t eliminated even though your varicose veins disappear.

Treating varicose veins prevents leg problems while improving your appearance. To learn more, call Advanced Surgical Associates of Northern Minnesota or book online today.

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