Learn How Medical Advances Allow Optimal Varicose Vein Treatment
New techniques that allow more precise and accurate treatment of varicose veins are facilitated by advances in ultrasound technology. As our ability to closely examine vein segments in the legs has increased by using ultrasound, we can detect the causes of surface veins and help our patients achieve long lasting benefit. Old stories of painful vein stripping are of historical interest only, as our ability to better image the vascular system allows us to give you optimal results.
Normal vein flow in the leg transports blood from the foot and ankle to the thigh and groin, and then to the heart, against the steady pressure of gravity pushing downward. Veins maintain normal flow by the presence of one-way valves that prevent backflow. However, if these valves weaken, they cannot resist gravity’s inexorable push downward, and blood begins to flow backward.
As the vein pressure increases, surface leg veins begin to bulge and the common symptoms of aching, heaviness, throbbing or itching ensue. Some of these veins lead to blood clots and skin damage and even ulcer formation.
Fortunately, treatments are safe, highly effective and durable. Patients are first evaluated using advanced ultrasound technology, so we can see the very fine vein valves and determine where they are working well and where they are failing. Commonly, the saphenous vein is the source of backpressure, and we direct treatment so that backflow is eliminated and normal vein flow up the leg is maintained.
The most tried and tested procedure to normalize vein flow is to use a heated wire, inserted through the vein, to painlessly seal the malfunctioning segments. This procedure, VNUS Closure, is performed under local anesthesia and allows immediate return to normal activity with little discomfort. As the backflow in the veins is eliminated, symptoms resolve, and long-lasting benefit is achieved. Surface veins that remain after VNUS Closure are simply removed using micro-phlebectomy, again an office based technique that often allows immediate return to normal activity.
Treatment of varicose veins is best done before permanent skin changes or dangerous clots form. If you are concerned about the status of your varicose veins, seek the advice of an experienced vascular surgeon who will answer your questions and individualize your treatment plan.