Varicose Veins Symptoms & Treatment Options
Symptoms of varicose veins can include aching, fatigue, heaviness, burning, throbbing, itching, cramping, ankle swelling, as well as ulceration. The causes of varicose veins include heredity, pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing and hormonal influences. Varicose veins are usually progressive, meaning that in most cases they get worse over time.
We are excited about new treatment for varicose veins that are allowing us to serve you better and more comfortably. Previously, patients had to go to the hospital for a painful varicose vein stripping procedure, but we can now offer these treatments in office with little to no discomfort. New treatments include laser closure of large veins, injection sclerotherapy and minimally invasive surgical treatments. These are performed in our North Shore Vein Center surgery suite under local anesthesia.
We use the following varicose vein treatments:
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)–
Using the CoolTouch CTEV™ Laser System, a laser fiber is inserted into the diseased vein and, once turned on, heats the inside of the vein to seal it shut. Endovenous laser ablation takes the place of traditional vein stripping, which is performed in a hospital, and can be performed in the comfort and convenience of my office setting using only local anesthesia. The procedure can typically be performed in 45 minutes and the CoolTouch® Laser System offers the most comfortable laser treatment available with rapid relief of symptoms, no downtime, less bruising than traditional laser treatment.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy– Also known as “hook” phlebectomy is the micro-extraction of bulging varicose veins through very small incisions. These small incisions usually heal completely without any scarring. This varicose vein removal procedure is performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia and usually takes about 30-60 minutes and requires little to no time off work. Immediately after this procedure you will need to wear a compression bandage and stocking.
Foam Sclerotherapy — uses a foamed solution similar to the solution used in traditional sclerotherapy. By mixing the solution with air or another type of gas using mechanical pumps, the solution is given greater surface area, making it more successful in thickening the blood vessel wall and sealing off blood flow. The foam solution does not mix with the blood, as is the case of the liquid solution. Instead it actually displaces the blood, which prevents the solution from becoming diluted.
Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy (Chemical Ablation)- This varicose vein removal procedure is used to treat varicose veins that are below the skin’s surface. An FDA-approved medication is injected into the diseased veins using an ultrasound to guide the placement. This ensures that the medication gets placed accurately into the vein. This requires no anesthesia or sedation and you can return back to work immediately.
Conservative Therapy– Prescription strength compression stockings are the most conservative way to treat vein disease. Compression stockings will help lessen the symptoms caused by varicose veins but they do not treat the underlying problem. These stockings must be worn on a daily basis indefinitely since they do nothing to treat the venous disease. Most insurance companies are now requiring a trial of compression stockings before considering covering the treatment of varicose veins.