Last July, I went to my primary care physician to ask about the varicose veins that are popping out all over my left calf (seen clearly in this picture to the right). I was concerned they might be affecting my training and leading to the calf cramping earlier than it should (or worse: creating a clot that would break free and do some damage).
My insurance company wouldn't pay for a vascular surgeon back then, but since they've gotten worse, I finally got the referral to Dr. Singh yesterday to have a look-see.
As suspected, he said I have a text-book case of superficial varicose veins where the valves are just continuing to fail further and further down the vein network away from the original injury (behind my knee).
His concern is that during races and hard training, the combination of dehydration and the field of failed valves will be a breeding ground for blood clots, so the best course of action is to remove them.
The best news? It's an out-patient procedure that takes about an hour. Up until the surgery, I can train as normal and within a week of the procedure, I'll be able to be back training at normal intensity.
Details of the procedure to come in a future post (tales of phlebectomy and vein stripping and cauterization, oh my). Next stop: the ultrasound to identify the location of the "last good valve" is on January 9.