What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins result from defective or diseased valves in the legs. When valves are damaged and don’t close properly, blood accumulates in the veins forcing the vein wall to bulge, producing varicose veins. Many people experience varicose veins – up to 40% of women and 20% of men develop varicose veins.
What are the symptoms?
Varicose veins produce a number of symptoms including:
- Leg heaviness
- Skin discoloration
Why treat varicose veins?
Treatment prevents more serious health risks that can occur including:
- Prolonged swelling in the legs
- Open sores or ulcers on the surface of the skin
Treating varicose veins will keep your legs and body in better health. Once the treated vein is closed, blood flows through other healthy veins in the leg.
Treatment options vary depending on the type and extent of your vein disease. Discuss treatment options with one of our physicians.
- Compression Stockings – For relief of minor pain, compression stockings may be a viable option. Compression stockings will not treat varicose veins, only relieve some of the symptoms.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation – The modern alternative for traditional “vein stripping” to treat venous insufficiency. Ultrasound is used to guide a thin laser fiber into the diseased, refluxing saphenous vein, and heat energy is applied to close the vein from the inside.Endovenous laser therapy ablation is typically performed in your physician’s office, takes less than an hour, and has virtually no recovery period.
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy – A minor procedure performed in your physician’s office under local anesthesia to remove varicose veins. Multiple tiny incisions are made along the varicose vein to remove it in segments. The procedure takes less than an hour and eliminates varicose veins with minimal or no scarring.
- Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy is used to treat smaller spider veins by injecting a solution into the vein causing it to close. Insurance does not cover sclerotherapy.
What to Expect with Laser Treatment
- Ultrasound exam of the vein
- Application of local anesthetic
- Insertion of a laser fiber through a tiny access point
- Delivery of laser energy to close the vein
- Removal of the laser fiber and closure of the access point with a bandage
- Wrapping of the leg for 24-hours
Immediate walking is encouraged to promote healing. Little to no pain is typically experienced, but may be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.
Does insurance cover the procedure?
Most insurance policies and Medicare cover varicose vein treatments. We have an in-house insurance specialist who will call and verify coverage.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
Endovenous laser ablation uses heat energy to close the vein from the inside, quickly relieving you of symptoms.
- Procedure performed in our office
- Treatment takes less than an hour
- No general anesthesia
- Little to no pain or bruising
- No recovery period – return to daily activities immediately
- Minimal or no scarring
Tips for Healthy Legs
- Regular exercise, 30 minutes, 5-7 times a week
- Elevate your legs 10 minutes twice per day, above heart level
- Flex calf muscles 10 times frequently (helps pump blood to veins)
- Maintain proper weight
- Minimize use of high heels
“The procedure was surprisingly quick and pain-free. I walked out of the practice and carried on with my day. After a few weeks the large vein on my lower leg was completely gone. I no longer suffer from the pain and swelling in my leg. I am really looking forward to wearing skirts again!”
– Angeline, ThermaLiteTM 1470 Patient
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