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Men Get Varicose Veins Too

It may be surprising to know that men get varicose veins too. But it’s different for them.

Man

How men and their varicose veins differ from women:

  • Men are more likely to have deep vein disease and leg edema or swelling.
  • Men are more likely to have normal appearing clinical exams even while suffering from the symptoms of actually having venous insufficiency.
  • Men usually have the symptoms of heaviness, pain, and aching with prolonged standing. They feel that this is part of aging or related to their heavier activity at work.
  • Men have similar compliance issues with wearing compression stockings and are even more resistant related to the appearance and the stigma of wearing stockings.

Life gets so much better, if a man will go ahead and get his veins taken care of. One such example was a patient who came in, thinking he could no longer work or be on his feet because of his age. In other words, he thought he was just over the hill! His life had been drastically changed because his legs were such a problem.   His life’s dream was to purchase some land and retire. And he did! But he couldn’t live his dream because of his legs.   He was trying to work on his farm, but could only work for 10 minutes at a time because of his severe symptoms of leg heaviness and fatigue. With a simple office procedure, he was able to return to full day activity without problems. In a way, he got his life back, able to enjoy the satisfaction of a full day’s work, well done.   Most all of the patients we treat see this kind of dramatic improvement in their quality of life.

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Leg pain, heaviness and aching are not normal but many men tend to tend to tolerate the situation, trying to be more stoical or macho. This mindset leads to delayed treatment, which can result in more complications related to the disease.   Some of the complications are swelling and chronic skin conditions like skin thickening and discoloration and even skin ulcerations. These conditions can be difficult to treat after years of developing. Getting the source of the problem (the varicose vein) treated earlier, rather than later when the chronic disease has set in to the leg, foot and skin, is the best course of action.

In summary, usually people think that varicose veins are mainly a condition affecting women, but varicose vein disease is more of an issue with men than previously thought. To be sure, varicose vein disease does occur more frequently in females, in large part because of childbearing . In the past it was thought that varicose vein disease was 4 times greater in women than in men. But now we know that the ratio is not 4-1, but really 2-1.   Yes, females have twice as much incidence as males, but not four times as much.   So unfortunately, men don’t get a free pass from this disease.