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What Happens During Varicose Vein Treatment?

Today’s varicose vein treatments are virtually painless. So why are you delaying treatment?

Is it time to finally treat your varicose veins? Only you can make that decision, but if the bulging veins on your legs or ankles are painful, you should explore your treatment options. Luckily, there are several minimally-invasive, virtually pain-free procedures that erase varicose veins and spider veins.

In addition to being a cosmetic issue, varicose veins bring about bothersome symptoms, such as swelling, aching, and throbbing. The condition stems from a venous disorder attributed to a loose valve in the vein. These valves play an important role in our circulation, pumping blood back to the heart after it flows into the lower limbs. When these valves fail — which can occur due to a number of factors, including excess weight, pregnancy, and  sitting or standing for long periods — the vein fills with excess blood and the vein walls protrude from under the skin, resulting in the appearance of a varicose vein.

Though patients often seek treatment because of the veins’ appearance, varicose veins have also been linked to more serious conditions. For instance, clear liquid from the enlarged vein can trickle into the surrounding tissue, causing itching or skin ulcers. Varicose veins may also lead to a serious blood clot in the leg known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Fortunately, those disorders and the discomfort of varicose veins can be lessened or eliminated with treatment. If you’re curious about varicose vein and spider vein therapy, here’s what you need to know.

Varicose Vein Treatments

Each patient requires different treatment. After your vein specialist examines your leg with a duplex ultrasound to pinpoint the compromised vein and discusses your general health, he or she can recommend a suitable treatment, which may be one of the three methods listed here.

Sclerotherapy

The standard therapy for spider veins, sclerotherapy uses a safe, FDA-approved solution injected into the vein with a small catheter. The solution seals the vein walls together, thus collapsing the vein so blood flows to healthier veins. The only discomfort the patient may feel during the procedure is a slight sting from the solution and pressure when the catheter is placed in the vein. 

A similar procedure treats larger veins deeper in the leg that aren’t suitable for other types of therapy. With the aid of an ultrasound device, the doctor directs a foam sclerosant into the damaged vein. Pressure is then applied to the vein with a bandage to help close it. 

Endovenous Laser Ablation

. Endovenous laser ablation has replaced vein stripping as the preferred treatment for varicose veins. The area around the varicose vein is first numbed with local anesthesia. Guided by an ultrasound device, the doctor inserts a small laser into the vein. By heating the vein, the vein walls collapse and blood is redirected to healthy veins. This procedure is suitable for veins found deep in the leg. The procedure takes less than an hour, and patients resume normal activities in a day.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

. Large, visible varicose veins are typically addressed with ambulatory phlebectomy. After numbing the area with local anesthesia, a doctor makes a series of small incisions along the veins. The veins are then removed with a small surgical hook. 

Depending upon the number of varicose veins or spider veins you want to eliminate, you may require more than one treatment to achieve the best results. Your doctor will explain any risks and precautions you should take after the procedure, such as avoiding strenuous exercise and hot baths for a week. Even after treatment, varicose veins may recur. 

Within weeks or months, your varicose veins or spider veins will gradually disappear. During the recovery period, you’ll be asked to wear compression stockings. These tight elastic garments not only help the healing process, but promote good circulation as well. 

Ready to Treat Your Varicose Veins?

The specialists at Vascular and Interventional Associates Vein Center are experts in eliminating varicose veins safely, quickly, and effectively. If you’ve decided it’s time to treat your varicose veins or spider veins, we can go over your treatment options and guide you to a course of treatment that’s tailored to your needs. Don’t delay treatment any longer  — contact us today for an appointment.

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