What Do the Statistics Say?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons completed a survey during the summer of 2020 and discovered that 49 percent of respondents felt comfortable scheduling a cosmetic or procedure at that time. The comfort level has risen even higher almost a year later, particularly in light of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, studies also show huge increase in the number of people who smoked marijuana during the pandemic. Those who started or increased their use of weed need to carefully consider how it could affect varicose veins and vein treatment.

Does Smoking Marijuana Cause Varicose Veins?

Doctors and researchers have given mixed answers to this question. Some feel that consuming cannabis shortly before vein treatment can help patients feel more relaxed but are uncertain whether it actually causes varicose veins. Others argue that marijuana with high THC levels can dilate blood vessels, increase heart rate, and force the body to use more oxygen, all of which could complicated vein treatment. Doctors who prefer to err on the side of caution advise patients to refrain from using weed for at least a week or two before vein treatment.

Known Differences Between Marijuana and Tobacco

People understand that tobacco causes an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease because researchers have studied it more over the years. Although marijuana contains up to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco, smokers do not have an increased risk of lung cancer because a chemical within it kills cells before they can turn cancerous.

That Doesn’t Mean Marijuana is Better

The act of smoking, whether inhaling tobacco or cannabis, has a negative effect on the body and lungs. Some medical and recreational marijuana users have turned to edibles or topicals to avoid the damage caused by smoking.

How Smoking Affects Your Venous System

Tobacco and marijuana smoke each contain chemicals that causes the heart to work harder and require more oxygen. Because the heart delivers blood to veins, problems such as varicose veins can appear when it works inefficiently. Here are some specific vein conditions tied to smoking:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke

Treatments for Varicose Veins

The following are some of the most common vein treatments:

  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a process of making small incisions near the veins and removing the damaged ones.
  • Laser Ablation repairs faulty veins through use of a thin laser fiber inserted through a fine needle.
  • Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy mixes foam with air and carbon dioxide and inserts into the skin with a fine needle to repair faulty veins.

Finding Vein Treatment in Manhattan, New York

Schulman Vein and Laser Center invites you to meet our vein physicians in Manhattan, NY to learn more about vein treatments. We also welcome you to schedule an appointment if you already know which vein treatment you want.