02.06.23 Dr. Paul McNeill Varicose Veins

Why It Doesn’t Hurt to Remove Varicose Veins

Patients needing care for varicose veins often inquire as to “how much will this treatment hurt?” This dovetails into a similar question often asked: “what are the risks of the procedure?“ For both of these issues, it is important to outline the risks of untreated disease, which often results in more pain in future years and higher risks than the treatment we perform.

Decades ago, varicose vein treatments required hospitalization and weeks of recovery. Today, varicose vein treatment is much less dramatic. Treatments are completed in the office setting in less than an hour, you can drive yourself to and from the office and return to work right away.

Varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive and virtually painless. Most treatments involve some local anesthetic, which is typically lidocaine introduced via a small needle. We first use a topical agent which briefly numbs the skin and helps minimize the lidocaine administration step.

Catheter-based treatments such as VNUS Closure and VenaSeal work by using a small treatment catheter gently inserted into the unhealthy vein. There are no nerve endings inside of veins, so these treatments are very comfortable. Bulging surface varicose veins are removed during a treatment called Micro-Phlebectomy, which uses tiny nicks along the ugly bulging veins to gently remove them one section at a time. Other newer treatments involve the use of medicines to sclerose or scar closed the unhealthy veins. All done in the presence of good conversation, music, and local anesthetic making it all efficient and comfortable.

Post treatment recommendations may include temporary use of compression wraps and compression hose, which some patients find at times uncomfortable. The duration of this use is short-lived, typically lasting 1-3 days.

As I first mentioned, the importance of understanding the risks and discomfort of leaving clinically significant vein disease untreated is important. Though there may be some minimal discomfort in the route to a solution, eliminating varicose veins and venous insufficiency is ultimately the most comfortable pathway forward for long term leg health and a better quality of life. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 866-695-8346.

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