- 1 What are Varicose Veins?
- 2 What are Varicose Vein Treatments?
- 3 Health Benefits of Varicose Vein Treatments
- 4 Personal Consultation
- 5 Results
- 6 Cost
- 7 FAQ
- 7.1 What are varicose veins?
- 7.2 What causes varicose veins?
- 7.3 Is it possible to prevent varicose veins?
- 7.4 What will happen to my varicose veins if left untreated?
- 7.5 What are varicose vein treatments?
- 7.6 Will I need to take time off work to recover?
- 7.7 What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?
- 7.8 Will eliminating my varicose veins affect blood flow?
- 7.9 Will my insurance cover varicose vein treatments?
- 8 References
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are a condition in which the veins in the legs and feet become enlarged and deformed. For some people, they can cause pain and may be a symptom of an underlying circulatory problem. They are caused by an increase in blood pressure. The valves in our veins direct blood in one direction, so when the valves become damaged or weakened, the blood starts to pool up and collect in the veins, causing an enlarged appearance. In the past, varicose veins were treated via painful surgical ligation and stripping. Yet, a variety of alternative options have been used in recent decades, such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and foam sclerotherapy, for example. Thankfully, the doctors and practitioners of Cleveland’s Smith Vein Institute have just the solutions for your vein problems. Guided by board-certified doctor David G. Smith, MD, The Smith Vein Institute is dedicated to diagnostic and therapeutic vein care. Our varicose vein treatments are covered by Medicare and by most commercial insurance plans. We use the most advanced technology in the industry to provide minimally-invasive comprehensive vein care in a comfortable office-based setting.
We look forward to meeting you.
Complications of Untreated Varicose Veins
- Superficial blood clots
- Deep blood clots
What are Varicose Vein Treatments?
Varicose vein treatments are methods and techniques used to care for and get rid of varicose veins. Treatments are for when self-care and compression stockings alone are not able to handle the varicose veins. According to experts, there is evidence to suggest that conservative therapy is less effective than sclerotherapy and surgery for the treatment of varicose veins. It is undeniable that minimally invasive techniques have changed the clinical landscape for varicose vein surgery tremendously for the better.
Varicose Vein Treatment Options
Endovenous Laser Therapy
Endovenous laser therapy is a treatment that involves a laser heating the target areas underneath the skin. Unlike vein stripping (a surgical procedure that removes the veins), endovenous laser therapy permanently closes the abnormal vein and leaves it in place without the need for surgery.
Microphlebectomy is a treatment option that utilizes several small incisions in the skin to remove undesired varicose veins. Stitches are usually not required, as the incisions are tiny and can close up unassisted.
Radiofrequency ablation is a technique that uses a radiofrequency catheter inserted into the vein, which is guided through the vein’s pathway and emits radiofrequency energy that heats up the vein and seals it up.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive, office-based procedure used to chemically ablate large branch veins through the use of a foam chemical agent injected into the affected veins and proceeds to shrink and collapse them.
Health Benefits of Varicose Vein Treatments
- Increased psychological well-being
- Relief from pain
- Better sleep
- Increased movement and mobility
- Decreases incidence of thromboembolism
- Lowers the chances of peripheral artery disease
Dr. David Smith will discuss all your options with you and make a recommendation for how to treat your problematic varicose veins.
Studies have shown that severe disease symptoms decreased and quality of life increased in patients with varicose veins after minimally invasive treatment. Lifestyle modifications, the use of compression stockings, and the roles of the nurses and healthcare workers are significant in maintaining healthy veins.
You may feel some side effects after your treatment. The most common ones are swelling, bruising, changes in skin color, and pain.
Your doctor may wrap your legs in elastic bandages afterward and have you wear compression socks for a certain amount of time.
When you return home, follow instructions about exercising even if you are sore. Idleness ups the chances that you’ll develop a potentially dangerous blood clot.
No matter what procedure, they can only treat existing varicose veins. New ones can develop, but you can limit them by:
- Proper diet and exercise
- Elevate your feet when sitting
- Do not cross your legs while sitting
- Avoid wearing tight clothes
Every patient is unique, so prices will vary depending on which treatments are selected. Sometimes a combination of procedures will achieve the best results, while other cases will require less intense options. During your consultation, we will provide you with complete pricing for all your options.
Studies have shown that of all the recent minimally invasive therapies, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, endovenous laser therapy, and radiofrequency ablation are the most common and challenges surgery as the “gold standard” of care for patients with varicose veins.
If you enjoyed learning all about varicose veins, we recommend checking out the rest of the Smith Vein Institute’s Blog. You will find all sorts of great content like educational articles, FAQs, tech updates, lifestyle advice, and much more. Don’t forget to also check us out on social. Find us, share your thoughts, and join the conversation with us on Twitter and Facebook.
We can’t wait to see you.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are a condition in which the veins in the legs and feet become enlarged and deformed. For some people, they can cause pain and may be a symptom of an underlying circulatory problem.
What causes varicose veins?
Varicose veins are almost always associated with venous reflux. This occurs when the valves in the leg veins don’t work well, and backward blood flow causes pooling in the lower leg. Without treatment, the pressure this creates may increase over time and cause additional varicose veins and symptoms. People with family history and who are older, obese, or pregnant may be at increased risk of developing varicose veins.
Is it possible to prevent varicose veins?
It is unclear if varicose veins can be prevented, but certain actions may help limit the disease’s progression and symptoms. Routine exercise, maintaining a normal weight, avoiding excessively long periods of standing or sitting, and the use of compression stockings may all help alleviate symptoms.
What will happen to my varicose veins if left untreated?
If left untreated, varicose veins can result in sores, skin ulcers, blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis. It’s best to treat varicose veins as soon as possible to avoid any potentially life-threatening complications. They will get worse over time if left untreated.
What are varicose vein treatments?
Varicose vein treatments are the methods and techniques used to care for and get rid of varicose veins. Treatments are for when self-care and compression stockings alone are not able to handle the varicose veins.
Will I need to take time off work to recover?
All listed treatments can be done in the office with local anesthetic with minimum discomfort for the patient. Because treatments are minimally invasive, patients are able to resume most of their daily activities either the day of or the day after treatment.
What is the difference between varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins are darker and wider and can become a health problem if left untreated. They tend to bulge and cause serious skin damage. Spider veins are a cosmetic blemish and can cause unnecessary embarrassment.
Spider veins are smaller and thinner and are bluish or reddish. They are virtually harmless and can show up in areas such as the legs, behind the knees, and even the face.
Both conditions are caused by circulation complications. Added pressure on the veins and blood vessels makes them have to work harder to circulate blood throughout the body.
Will eliminating my varicose veins affect blood flow?
No, removing varicose veins will not affect blood flow. Closing a faulty varicose vein will actually improve blood flow to the heart. The human body subsequently adapts and the normal veins take over to return the blood back to the heart.
Will my insurance cover varicose vein treatments?
Most insurance companies will cover treatments for varicose veins that are deemed medically necessary and also in cases when therapy with compression stockings does not work. Treatment for cosmetic reasons is not covered.
- Fan Lin, Shiyi Zhang, Yan Sun, Shiyan Ren, Peng Liu; The Management of Varicose Veins. Int Surg 1 January 2015; 100 (1): 185–189. doi: https://doi.org/10.9738/INTSURG-D-14-00084.1
- Leopardi, D., BSc, Hoggan, B. L., Bsc BPsych (Hons), Fitridge, R. A., MS FRACS, Woodruff, P. W., FRACS, & Maddern, G. J., FRACS PhD. (2009). Systematic Review of Treatments for Varicose Veins. Annals of Vascular Surgery, 23(2), 264-276. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2008.10.007
- Den Bremer, J., & Moll, F. L. (2010). Historical Overview of Varicose Vein Surgery. Annals of Vascular Surgery, 24(3), 426-432. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2009.07.035
- Tuncer Çoban, P., & Dirimeşe, E. (2019). Evaluation of quality of life after minimally invasive varicose vein treatment. Turk gogus kalp damar cerrahisi dergisi, 27(1), 49–56. https://doi.org/10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2019.16867
- Nijsten, T., MD, PhD, Van den Bosa, R. R., Goldman, M. P., MD, Kockaert, M. A., MD, Proebstle, T. M., MD, PhD, Rabe, E., MD, PhD, . . . Neumann, M. H., MD, PhD. (2009). Minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of saphenous varicose veins. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 60(1), 110-119. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2008.07.046