Varicose Vein Treatment
Vein Affiliates Answers Common Questions Regarding Varicose Veins
Varicose veins occur when the valves in the superficial system stop working correctly and become incompetent. There are several systems or “trunks” that can be involved and the most common are the saphenous vein, short saphenous vein, anterior accessory saphenous vein and the thigh extension branch. The valves should help propel blood back up the leg and when these valves stop functioning, the blood falls back down the leg (reflux). Over time, the veins become larger (dilate) and form the lumpy bumpy appearance of varicose veins.
What are the common symptoms of varicose veins?
How are varicose veins treated today?
There are many exciting new treatment options available today for varicose veins and they include laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation (RF), micro phlebectomy and sclerotherapy. All of these procedures are performed in the office setting safely and easily using a local type anesthetic called tumescent. The laser or RF are used for closing the main “trunk” that is causing the bulging veins. A very small fiber is placed inside the vein through a small needle. Once numb, the laser or RF is activated and slowly pulled through the vein. This causes the vessel wall to be damaged so blood can’t flow the wrong way anymore. It now goes through the normal blood channels.
Normally, the procedure takes about an hour and you are asked to take it easy for 1-2 days. Normal activity can be resumed on the 2nd or 3rd day. There is minimal to no discomfort after the procedure. Many times, your doctor will ask you to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin for a week following the procedure. You will also be asked to wear compression stockings for a period of 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
The large “bumps” are gently removed with a procedure called micro-phlebectomy (or ambulatory phlebectomy). Micro-incisions are made after numbing with a small needle so there are no scars and rarely are stitches used. Many times this procedure is done in conjunction with the laser or RF procedure.
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