Maintaining proper circulation in our legs is a very important part of overall health. Studies estimate that vein disease (i.e., varicose veins) affects more than 30 million Americans, and only one-half of one percent seek treatment. About 40 percent of women and 20 percent of men have some vein issue by age 50.
One of the reasons for not seeking treatment is the myth that vein disease is “just” unsightly, bulging veins, or there is no treatment outside of major surgery with a long, painful recovery. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Medical technology has come a long way, and advancements in vein treatment are no exception.
The first line of treatment for vein disease usually involves lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise or leg elevation at night and wearing compression stockings. These conservative measures provide temporary relief, but do not provide long-term solutions.
The goal of advancements in vein treatment is to stop the underlying disease process and to alleviate the symptoms and physical findings associated with it. Vein disease progresses at a rate of 4% per year and does not improve without proper treatment…ever.
Establishing the correct diagnosis as to which specific veins are responsible for the “reflux” (backwards blood flow in the veins due to non-functioning valves) is very important and can be determined with a venous ultrasound of the legs. Treatment can then be precisely directed to the veins which are not properly functioning.
A Historical Perspective & Advancements
Since the early 1900s, vein stripping used to be the only option. It required surgery, general anesthesia, large incisions, hospitalizations, a long recovery, and more. Thankfully, vein stripping is rarely, if ever, performed in the U.S. today.
Modern day treatments for venous insufficiency began about 20 years ago when endovenous (inside the vein) therapy was developed to close off the vessel to prevent backward blood flow through the vein. New treatments are minimally invasive and have proven to be effective, safe, and very low risk.
Which Procedure is Right for Me?
Many factors determine which treatment approach is the best. All our procedures are minimally invasive with short recovery times and minimal discomfort. We tailor each treatment to a patient’s specific vein situation. We offer several options to make it easier to seek treatment and to determine what will work best for you.
VenaSeal™: A medical-grade adhesive which can close a diseased vein without the use of heat energy and tends to be well tolerated.
Varithena®: FDA-approved foam which irritates the vein wall and closes bulging veins. It is injected under ultrasound guidance to collapse the affected vein allowing blood flow to be redirected to healthy veins.
Radiofrequency Ablation: Under local anesthesia, an ultrasound guides a narrow catheter into the refluxing vein and then electrical energy is applied to the vein wall which seals it shut and prevents blood flow. The body then naturally absorbs the sealed vein. Once the vein is closed, most of its “bulging” branches will begin to shrink and disappear along with the pain and heaviness in the leg.
Sclerotherapy: Injected medication which irritates the vein lining will cause these veins to collapse and be absorbed by the body. It is an essential part of preventing vein disease reoccurrence.
All procedures are minimally invasive, require no downtime, and renew your legs! Call our office or schedule online for your appointment today!