Physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, are encouraging the community to seek specialist care for varicose veins to help them unlock a healthier future.
Often seen as a cosmetic or minor issue, varicose veins are abnormal, dilated blood vessels caused by a weakening in the vessel wall that look like swollen, twisted clusters of blue or purple veins under the skin on the legs. Although varicose veins do not usually present with symptoms in their early stages, if left untreated they can cause pain, discomfort, ulcers and even raise a person’s risk of blood clots.
“Many people simply think that varicose veins are unsightly and a natural result of ageing. This is not the case. Without treatment, they can progress to greatly affect a person’s quality of life and in their advanced stage, limit a person’s mobility. As they are most common among people struggling with obesity, this reduced mobility can make their situation worse and have a profound effect on their overall health,” explains Dr. Francesco Serino, a vascular surgeon and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s vein clinic.
As obesity rates in the UAE and across the developed world continue to rise, doctors expect to see similar growth in the number of people affected by varicose veins. While easily treated in their early stages, some of the later stage complications such as painful skin ulceration, aching leg muscles and a feeling of heaviness in the legs cannot be reversed. As a result, doctors fear this will further discourage people from getting the exercise they need to help control their weight and maintain a healthy heart.
“It’s never too late to make a healthy change in life by eating the right foods and moving our bodies more. If we are to tackle obesity, it’s important that we make that choice as easy as possible for people. By treating varicose veins early, we can help people feel empowered to make a healthy change and importantly, keep them mobile. It’s not a silver bullet but anything that encourages a more active life at any age is a true lifeline,” says Dr. Serino.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s ‘one stop’ vein clinic is designed to provide fast and convenient access to assessment, testing and treatment for varicose veins in a single visit. Following an initial consultation, more detailed testing can be ordered on the same day before proceeding to treatment if required. Staffed by vascular surgeons, scientists and specialized nurses, the vein clinic provides personalized care for each patient, helping them step into a healthier future.
“Varicose veins can be treated very easily, particularly in their early stages. The problem is that people don’t think they have a problem until they begin experiencing symptoms that affect their quality of life. As soon as you notice a varicose vein, you should consult a doctor for specialist advice to avoid more serious problems down the line,” continues Dr. Serino.
The vein clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers patients a range of treatment options from individualized compression technology to medications and a minimally invasive procedure that uses medical adhesive to quickly and effectively close a varicose vein. This procedure eliminates the need for invasive vein stripping surgery and avoids the high temperatures needed for laser treatment, allowing patients to return to normal activities the following day.