Being overweight or obese can lead to the development of varicose veins in many patients. As the body takes on excess weight, veins in the legs have to work harder to return blood back to the heart and lungs for oxygenation. Many patients who commit to extreme weight loss (whether through lifestyle changes and/or bariatric surgery) hope that their varicose veins will return to normal following weight loss.
Unfortunately, varicose veins do not simply disappear or vanish after losing weight. In fact, contrary to what you may expect, many surgical weight loss patients actually report that their varicose veins look worse after they’ve lost a lot of weight. Because most patients will have less fat in their legs after losing excess weight, these veins can appear even more prominent than they did prior to weight loss.
Why doesn’t weight loss “cure” varicose veins?
After your body sheds excess pounds, there’s less pressure on your vascular system, so your legs should have an easier time returning blood the heart. However, veins that have already dilated and bulged outward (varicose veins) cannot simply retract or “shrink up” to their normal size. These veins have been permanently damaged, and may require treatment.
Okay, I’ve lost the weight. Do I need varicose vein surgery?
You don’t necessarily need varicose vein “surgery.” Therapy for varicose veins has come a long way in recent years. Many physicians, myself included, now treat varicose veins using minimally (or non-) invasive methods that offer quicker recovery, less pain, and better outcomes.
Here at Valley Vein Center, I’m proud to offer the cutting-edge Venefit™ procedure, which uses radiofrequency energy and heat to collapse the vein from inside. After the brief office procedure, the vein simply turns to scar tissue and disappears from sight. The best parts? Incredible success rates (93 percent for 3+ years) and patients are back to normal activities after just a couple days.*
Have you lost weight? Want to learn if you’re a candidate for Venefit? Try our Vein Assessment.
*Individual results may vary.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.