By Tom Tran PA-C, MPAs, NCCPA Surgery Board Certified –
Since varicose veins seemingly only create an unsightly appearance, many people often think that there is no real medical problem, and that they are merely a cosmetic problem. This is a common misconception of varicose veins, and it results from of a lack of knowledge about the condition.
Although they pose only a cosmetic problem for many patients, some people experience varicose veins that cause physical discomfort and in some cases are quite painful. When varicose veins cause discomfort or pain, the legs may ache, swell or feel heavy or tired.
Varicose veins develop when surface blood vessels become weak. The pressure of blood pushing against the vein’s wall can cause it to bulge or twist. They have a rope-like appearance and commonly develop on the thighs, calves, feet and back of knees.
If left untreated varicose veins can continue to enlarge and the pain and discomfort will worsen over time. The Comprehensive Vein Center offers Endovenous Lase Ablation and three types of Sclerotherapy treatments for varicose veins.
Visual Sclerotherapy can be used to treat smaller varicose veins through the injection of a chemical solution, which causes the veins to collapse and form adhesive clots which the body will absorb. This procedure normally involves minimal discomfort. Compression hoses are also advised following the treatment, to be worn for two days to two weeks, depending on the size of the veins treated.
Ultrasound Sclerotherapy involves using a duplex scanner at the bedside, placing a needle into the vein involved, followed by injection of sclerosing agent.
Foam Sclerotherapy involves injecting a foamed solution of Sotradecol into the veins. This approach can be used with both traditional and ultrasound guided sclerotherapy, and is more effective and more convenient, requiring fewer needle injections with minimal skin effects.
Endovenous Laser Ablation is an in-office procedure and takes less than an hour to achieve the same results as a major surgical vein stripping. Using ultrasound guidance and local anesthesia, the procedure is performed with a laser fiber inserted through a small puncture into the vein. As the fiber is slowly advanced to the desired area, it is gradually withdrawn. As the fiber is withdrawn, the vein shrinks and seals. In most cases, these veins are the root cause of smaller varicose veins, and there is very minimal pain or any associated scarring. This procedure has a 98% success rate in most cases, and the entire process involves minimal pain. Recovery is faster and most daily activities can be resumed the following day.
Regardless of which procedure is chosen, the appearance of the affected vein will improve and the pain will be minimized and oftentimes eliminated.
Although existing varicose veins can be treated, these treatments will not prevent the development of additional varicose veins. To prevent varicose veins patients can begin by maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. Wearing compression stockings and/or elevating the legs can help to improve blood flow in the legs and relieve pressure. If you are suffering with varicose veins, call the Comprehensive Vein Center today for more information on treatments that are available for you, 352.259.5960.