Varicose veins are abnormally swollen or enlarged blood vessels in the leg caused by the failure of the valves in the veins to normally pump blood from the limbs back to the heart. The blood can pool, or even reverse, a condition known as venous reflux, which is the cause of varicose veins and their related pain and symptoms. This treatment is often covered by insurance following a conservative trial period of wearing compression stockings.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Untreated varicose veins can progress to a more serious form of venous disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Also referred to as Venous Reflux, this disease will result in worsening symptoms, such as pain, swelling, restlessness and fatigue of the legs, as well as skin damage and ulceration in more severe cases. All treatments are minimally invasive, and require little to no downtime. Dr. Smith will prescribe the wearing of compression hosiery for a specific period of time following many of the procedures.
Vein disease is progressive, and if left untreated, patients may develop:
- Blood clots
- Large varicosities
- Throbbing pain
- Severe swelling (Edema)
- Possible ulceration in extreme cases
The endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) procedure involves thermal ablation of incompetent varicose veins. Unlike vein stripping, EVLA permanently closes the abnormal vein, thereby leaving it in place without surgically removing the vein.
Formerly known as VNUS Closure™, Venefit™ is a minimally invasive procedure used for the treatment of varicose veins and Chronic Venous Insuffiency (CVI). Performed in our office using just local anesthesia, the tiny ClosureFast™ catheter is inserted into the affected leg. A tiny burst of radiofrequency energy causes the vein wall to shrink and collapse. The vein is sealed and “closed” when the physician withdraws the catheter. Because of the consistent level of heat delivered by the Venefit procedure, the patient experiences less bruising and a quicker recovery period than alternative laser energy ablations.
Also known as “roadmap veins” or telangiectasias, spider veins are tiny superficial blood vessels often found on the calves, thighs and ankles. Typically cosmetic in nature, spider veins are generally not considered a health risk; however, patients can experience symptoms such as itching, burning and achiness in the affected area, and they will worsen if left untreated. Factors like heredity, pregnancy, prolonged standing or sitting, trauma or pressure, and hormonal changes all contribute to the development of spider veins. If deemed a cosmetic procedure, this treatment may not be covered by insurance.
Sclerotherapy is a vein treatment procedure used to chemically ablate superficial veins. This procedure uses tiny needles to inject a liquid or foam chemical agent into visible surface veins. The injected chemical solution causes the treated veins to shrink and collapse over time.
Non-invasive evaluation is essential for making the correct diagnosis and for determining vein treatment options for patients with varicose veins. Duplex ultrasound allows for visualization of veins and their venous flow assessment, along with determination of the status of the deep, superficial, and perforator veins. In addition to the expert clinical services and advanced physician training offered, Smith Vein Institute has an experienced ultrasound technologist perform the non-invasive evaluations which will dictate which of the therapeutic vein care options are most appropriate for our patients.