Varicose Vein Treatments
Large twisted veins in the legs and pelvis are known as varicose veins. At Vascular Specialists of Central Florida, our varicose vein specialists offer several varicose vein treatments for Orlando and the Central Florida areas.
Normal veins contain valves that enable blood to return from the legs to the heart. Varicose veins have damaged valves, and the blood is pulled backwards to the leg by gravity when standing. The veins then swell and enlarge. Besides the cosmetic effects, legs can become heavy and painful. The leg may become discolored or swollen. Sometimes, this can lead to more serious medical problems.
Following sclerotherapy, about 60% of the treated vessels will be permanently removed.
An evaluation by our medical staff is required to determine the appropriate method of varicose vein treatment for you. Our team of varicose vein specialists offer a wide assortment of vein procedures which can significantly improve the appearance of the legs and result in a decrease in symptoms. These are:
VNUS Radiofrequency Ablation
The VNUS radiofrequency ablation is a minimally-invasive in-office procedure which can dramatically improve the appearance of visible varicosities as well as result in a rapid decrease in symptoms. The procedure involves the insertion of a catheter into the affected vein through a tiny puncture in the leg. The radiofrequency that is emitted from the catheter causes the to vein close off. You are medicated (if desired) and the leg is numbed, so there is minimal discomfort during the procedure, if any.
The length of the procedure does vary, however it can take only 15 minutes. There is a very minimal recovery process and you will be able to resume general activities the same day.
This procedure is frequently covered by insurance providers. Please note, most insurers do require a 90 day trial of compression stockings prior to authorizing coverage for vein procedures.
Plebectomy is a procedure which directly treats bulging varicose veins. Tiny incisions are made and the vein is literally removed from the leg. The incisions are often so small that they may not even require suturing. Cosmetic and symptomatic improvement are often practically immediate.
Though the procedure may be done on an out-patient basis at the hospital, many patients are candidates to have the procedure performed in the office. Medication and numbing of the leg are provided to maximize comfort during the procedure. The length of the procedure varies depending on how many veins are being removed. Recovery is minimal; general activities can often be resumed the same day.
Note: Insurance carriers frequently require a 90-day trial of graduated compression stockings prior to authorization for vein procedures. Compression stockings can be purchased from our office, medical supply stores, and some pharmacies.
Sclerotherapy is the procedure used to treat unwanted small vessels, called spider veins, usually found on the legs and thighs. A solution is injected into the vein using a very small needle. Click here to learn more about sclerotherapy.
Vein stripping involves making incisions on the legs and removing long veins. It is typically peformed in the hospital under general anesthesia. As with the other vein procedures, vein stripping can result in symptomatic and cosmetic improvement.
Due to the advances in minimally-invasive vein procedures, vein stripping is not as commonly performed as it used to be. However, for patients who are not candidates for alternative procedures, it can be an excellent method of vein treatment.
Most patients, who undergo varicose vein treatment that removes or closes the vein, should not have a reoccurrence of the vein. That particular vein cannot “come back”. However, the body is constantly changing and previously small and unseen veins can enlarge and become visible over time. Nothing prevents the body from making these new veins. Typically, complete treatment of the veins can result in the reduction of 60-80% of the visible varicose veins. If new veins form, the new veins may be treated as well. But these are new veins, not a return of old veins.
Often, patients are referred to our office after they have been treated multiple times for recurrent varicose and spider veins. Frequently, these patients have been treated for the superficial effects of varicose veins without a thorough investigation of the underlying cause of the problem. Without addressing the underlying pathology, the cosmetic effects of superficial vein treatment are short lived and new veins occur repeatedly. An evaluation by a vascular surgeon can reveal a problem with the venous system that is not addressed with superficial vein treatments. Treatment of the underlying cause of varicose veins will often result in a more permanent and satisfactory outcome.
The answer is yes, venous diseases and varicosities can be hereditary. But also, varicose veins are very common.
Up to 50% of Americans will develop venous insufficiency or varicose veins in their lifetime. It is difficult to determine whose veins are hereditary and whose are sporadic. Other risk factors for varicose veins include age, number of pregnancies, female hormones, standing professions, and obesity. While we have little control over some risk factors, often reducing the amount of standing, exercise, and weight loss will have dramatic effects on varicosities. Even compression stockings may relieve their pain.
So you may not be able to blame your parents for this one entirely, but since at least some of the varicosities may be from lifestyle issues, there are some simple lifestyle changes that you can do to alleviate the problem. Our focus at Vascular Specialists is design a specific treatment for your individual needs. We look for a multifaceted approach to vein disease that addresses the patient’s individual concerns.
Often, patients with varicose veins don’t realize that they actually have options with regard to treatment. Because nonvascular specialists also perform varicose vein procedures, patients might be steered into one particular method of vein treatment, depending on the physician’s abilities. Board certified vascular surgeons are the only physicians credentialed to perform all aspects of vein procedures, and therefore are able to offer all classes of treatment.
The five treatments are:
- Conservative measures.
- Injection Sclerotherapy (Superficial and Deep)
- Venous Ablation (Radiofrequency and Laser)
- Operative stripping and phlebectomy
- No treatment
These are the broad classes of treatment of varicose veins offered by reputable vascular specialists, and before deciding on the treatment of your varicose veins, you should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each therapy method with your physician. No two patients are alike and no two veins are alike, so the best treatment is the one individualized to your condition.