What is the Best Varicose Vein Removal Procedure?
Varicose veins and spider veins are quite common, impacting more than 50 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Patients are often concerned with the unsightly appearance of varicose veins and spider veins. In many cases, the condition causes discomfort. For example, those suffering from vein-related issues feel burning, swelling, itching, achiness, and heaviness in their legs and ankles. Some experience frequent painful leg cramps that interrupt sleep and leave the area tender for hours afterwards.
Fortunately, medical advances have transformed vein disease treatment. Instead of a complex, invasive vein removal procedure, there are a variety of options that are safe, effective, and virtually painless. These treatments are minimally invasive, and they can be performed in just 15-30 minutes. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities the same day.
The best varicose vein removal procedure for a specific patient depends on individual needs. A specialized vein doctor is highly skilled at identifying the underlying cause of varicose veins and advising on the best treatment choice for your unique situation.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Many factors can contribute to the development of varicose veins and spider veins, but the underlying issue is a malfunction of the valves within the veins. These valves are supposed to guide blood in one direction – towards the heart – without allowing any of it to flow backwards.
When the valves aren’t working correctly, it is referred to as venous reflux. Blood begins to pool in the lower half of the body, causing veins to swell. This puts pressure on the walls of the veins and creates the knotty, raised, twisted appearance characteristic of varicose veins. As the swelling becomes more severe, the veins are more noticeable through the skin. Spider veins are caused by the same condition, but their appearance is different. Instead of a swollen, raised appearance, spider veins look like webs of red, blue, and purple veins just beneath the skin’s surface.
Many people don’t realize that a serious vein disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) may be responsible for varicose veins and spider veins. Proper diagnosis is a critical step in the treatment process, but unfortunately, many patients do not get an accurate diagnosis. Consulting a vein expert ensures that the cause of your varicose veins is properly identified, and your treatment is tailored for the specific medical issues impacting your health.
What is the Best Way to Remove Varicose Veins?
Varicose and spider vein treatment has come a long way since the days of vein stripping surgery, and you have choices when it comes to treatment plans. Today’s procedures are fast, effective, and minimally invasive, and you only need local anesthesia during treatment. Your dedicated vein physician can assist with choosing the best varicose vein removal procedure for your situation. Three of the most popular options include the following:
- Sclerotherapy Treatment – This procedure gets its name from Sclerosant, which is a medical solution that is injected into varicose veins and spider veins. The solution damages the interior lining of the diseased veins, so that a clot forms. Once the clot forms, it prevents blood from moving through the vein. Instead, the blood is rerouted to other, healthier veins. Over time, the unused veins close and turn into scar tissue, and they can no longer be seen through the surface of your skin. Some patients experience a burning sensation when the medical solution is injected, but it is unusual to have lasting discomfort.
- Radio Frequency Ablation – Also known as RFA and VNUS/Clоѕurе Fast, this treatment relies on heat to close diseased veins. Your physician makes a tiny incision in your skin and inserts a thin RFA fiber into the vein being treated. The thermal energy passes through the fiber to your vein, and it closes right away. Your blood finds new paths through healthy veins, and the diseased tissue is reabsorbed into your body. It is uncommon for patients to experience pain or discomfort after an RFA treatment, and the method is so effective that it has been Medicare approved. A full 95 percent of RFA procedures are successful.
- VenaSeal – The newest vein treatment method, VenaSeal, only came to the United States in 2015. However, it has been used for years in Europe, and its safety and effectiveness have been carefully studied. VenaSeal is a vein glue that seals diseased veins to prevent blood from passing through. The closed veins are eventually absorbed by the body, so that you no longer have the discomfort of varicose veins and spider veins. VenaSeal has become quite popular, and one of the reasons is that no pre-procedure or post-procedure medication is required. Injecting local anesthetic around the vein being treated is unnecessary with VenaSeal, which makes it the preferred solution for some patients. Your healthcare provider can help you determine whether this option is right for you.
Consult a specialized varicose vein doctor or spider vein doctor if you suffer from either condition. These physicians have the experience and expertise necessary to diagnose the root cause of your symptoms and suggest the best varicose vein removal procedure.