Varicose veins are damaged veins, usually in the legs, that have become weak and fail to move the blood efficiently back to the heart. As the blood pools in the veins, they become enlarged and show through the skin. They look reddish or purplish and twisted. Aside from the cosmetic issues they can create, they can cause serious health problems if they are left untreated. If you are dealing with varicose veins, you could benefit from one of our many effective varicose vein treatments.
Fortunately, there are several safe and effective varicose vein treatments that are minimally invasive. Surgery is always an option, but it is often only prescribed for very advanced cases. Sclerotherapy, endovenous laser therapy, radiofrequency ablation and ambulatory micro-phlebectomy are all options for completely removing varicose veins. These minimally invasive treatments are outpatient procedures and come with very little risk or recovery time. Small to medium veins may take less than an hour to treat.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment in which the doctor injects a chemical directly into the vein to damage the vein and make it collapse. The needle and injection site is very thin and only a topical anesthetic is required. The chemical is traditionally a saline solution but may be some other chemical if the patient is allergic to saline solution. This is the standard treatment for small to medium varicose veins and has a long history of success. For larger veins, the chemical is often converted into a foam, so it will cover a larger area than the liquid can cover. The results are the same. The vein collapses and is gradually absorbed by the surrounding tissue until it completely disappears.
Endovenous laser treatment uses laser light to damage the inside vein wall. It is inserted into the vein through a catheter and gradually pulled out the length of the vein. The light is absorbed as heat by the vein and it becomes damaged. The same process may be done with radio frequency. In both cases, the vein is absorbed by the body and disappears in a few weeks or months.
Once your varicose veins are removed, it is important to make sure new ones do not develop. This could happen if you have a lifestyle of sitting or standing for many hours at a time, are obese and very little exercise. Walking strengthens the leg muscles so they can help push the blood up the veins back to the heart and lungs. If you sit for hours, you should make it a point to get up and walk around for five to 10 minutes every hour. If you stand for hours, you should make it a point to sit with your feet raised for a few minutes throughout the day.
Safe, effective and minimally invasive varicose vein treatments may help you have smooth legs again and boost your confidence when you wear a bathing suit or other summer clothing. At Smith Vein Institute, located in Concord Township and Middlefield, we would be happy to help you learn more about your treatment options. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!