Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins are the result of venous reflux disease, also known as venous insufficiency. This is a medical condition affecting the circulation of blood in the leg veins. The valves within the veins that normally function to bring blood back up to the heart no longer work. This causes increased venous pressure and varicose veins.
Symptoms include leg pain, aching, tired and weak legs, burning or itching, and swelling. In more severe cases there can be color and texture changes of the leg and ankle called lipodermatosclerosis. Open wounds (skin ulcers) can also form near the ankle.
What treatments do you offer?
Ultrasound Guided Vein Ablation is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure used to treat varicose veins. An ablation catheter is inserted into the diseased vein under local anesthesia. The catheter delivers energy to the inside of the vein causing it to collapse. Blood is re-routed to nearby functional veins and the decreased pressure in the leg results in treatment of the varicose veins. This treatment is more effective and less invasive compared to traditional vein stripping surgery and is covered by most insurance plans.
Phlebectomy - It is a minimally invasive procedure that removes surface varicose veins and can result in a more appealing long term cosmetic appearance. Phlebectomy is not vein stripping.
What should I expect?
After one of our interventional radiologists completes a consult, a ultrasound is performed to diagnose which veins are diseased and to determine a treatment plan for the patient.
The actual procedure takes about one hour. After the procedure, your leg will be placed in a prescription grade compression stocking. This is to be worn for two weeks while awake; it can be taken off at bedtime. There will likely be some discomfort and bruising of the treated leg, but this should resolve within 2-3 weeks. The discomfort is treated with over the counter analgesics in most cases. Bruising will be more prominent if phlebectomy is performed along with endovenous ablation. Patients are encouraged to ambulate immediately and often. Recovery overall is well tolerated and minimal. Many patients return to work the next day. All procedures carry some degree of risk and potential for complication. These should be discussed with the physician and be weighed against the risk of leaving your varicose veins untreated.