Minimally Invasive Treatments: Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are often noticed as bulging, rope-like veins pushing on the underside of the skin. Sometimes, they are little more than an annoying cosmetic issue, but they can also be painful and cause medical complications such as ankle/feet swelling and venous ulcers. If you are concerned about varicose veins in your legs and are uncertain about seeking treatment for fear of invasive surgical procedures, we have some good news for you: there are minimally invasive treatments available.
After contacting a vein specialist and receiving a proper diagnosis, your vein doctor will give you some treatment options. For the most part, varicose veins do not require invasive, open vascular surgery. Open vascular surgery is only needed in really severe cases and can also pose risks for people with health conditions that are affected by surgery. Minimally invasive treatments are faster, less painful, and require less healing time than surgeries. The two types of treatments available for varicose veins are Sclerotherapy and Endovenous Ablation.
- Sclerotherapy is performed by first inserting a small needle into the affected vein. The needle is guided using ultrasound, which consists of harmless soundwaves. Once guided to the affected vein, the needle injects a solution called sodium tetradecyl sulfate, or STS. This solution causes the vein to close, which forces the blood to reroute through healthier veins. Once completed, the vein will shrink and eventually fade from view entirely. For larger veins that are affected, a foam sclerotherapy can be performed in the same way previously mentioned.
- Endovenous ablation can be performed one of two ways: by laser or by radio frequency. In the end, both methods have one job, and that is to heat the vein up so that it closes. Laser ablation has a few more risks than radiofrequency ablation and can also take a longer amount of time. More patients find that laser ablation takes longer to truly have noticeable effects, while radiofrequency ablation relieves the symptoms quicker and for a longer period of time.
In both cases, once the vein is closed, blood will reroute through healthier veins and the old vein will be reabsorbed by the body. In some cases, patients may want the old vein removed right away, and this can be performed by making several tiny incisions to pull the vein out in sections called microphlebectomy. Endovenous laser ablation can leave a slight discoloring of the skin above the treatment site, but radiofrequency ablation tends to not do this as often.
Any of these treatments should be considered if you are unable to manage your varicose veins with simple home treatments, or if you are experiencing pain or heaviness in your legs. Should you notice these symptoms, schedule an appointment with the best vein doctor in Katy by contacting Premier Vein.