Living with varicose veins can be an uncomfortable and annoying problem. Luckily, cutting-edge medical technology at Cardiovascular Institute of the South provides varicose vein sufferers with minimally invasive treatments. Reduce inflammation, increase comfort levels in the legs, and improve cosmetic appearances—all without having to undergo long operations or use strong medications. Let's examine four types of minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment available at our Jennings clinic and other provider locations so that you can find one that suits your unique needs.
1. Endovenous Laser Therapy
Endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins that uses laser energy to seal the affected vein. While general anesthesia is not required, it may help make patients more comfortable. However, a numbing agent will be applied to the area where the laser fiber will be inserted.
To begin, the physician makes a small incision, typically near the ankle, and inserts a thin, flexible laser fiber through the incision and into the vein. The laser is activated, emitting energy that heats the walls of the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. The laser fiber is then removed, and the incision is closed with a small adhesive bandage. The patient may go home the same day and can resume normal activities within a few days. Compression stockings may be worn for a few weeks to help with swelling and prevent blood clots.
After your varicose vein treatment in Jennings, begin walking around for up to an hour. This helps to improve blood circulation. However, high-impact exercises like running or jumping jacks can negatively impact the healing process. While strenuous physical activity is not recommended, it can be beneficial to go on walks for several days following your treatment for a minimum of thirty minutes of low-impact activity.
2. Phlebectomy Treatment
Phlebectomy treatment, also known as vein stripping, is a procedure used to treat varicose veins. It involves the removal of large, bulging veins through small incisions in the skin. The patient is given local anesthesia to numb the area where the incisions will be made. Next, the surgeon makes a series of small incisions, typically around the ankle and up the leg. A special tool called a phlebectomy hook, or vein stripper, is inserted through the incisions. This hook grasps and pulls the vein out through the incisions. The incisions are then closed with stitches or medical adhesive.
The patient may go home the same day as the surgery and should wear compression stockings for a few weeks. Phlebectomy is generally safe, but like any surgical procedure, it carries some risk of complications. Your doctor will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before the procedure.
3. Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses radiofrequency energy to heat and collapse the affected vein, sealing it shut. The patient is given local anesthesia to numb the area where the radiofrequency energy will be applied. The doctor makes a small incision, typically near the ankle, and inserts a thin, flexible catheter through the incision and into the vein. The catheter is equipped with an electrode that emits radiofrequency energy, which heats the walls of the vein. This causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. The catheter is then removed, and the incision is closed with a small adhesive bandage.
The patient can usually go home the same day and resume normal activities within a few days. Compression stockings may be worn as advised to help with swelling and prevent blood clots. Avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or intense exercise, for a few days after the procedure. You should be able to return to your normal activities within a few days. Keep the incision site clean and dry, and follow your doctor's care instructions.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. It involves injecting a solution, called a sclerosant, into the affected vein. The sclerosant causes the vein to scar and close off, which helps to improve the appearance of the veins and reduce symptoms such as pain and swelling.
The procedure begins with the patient seated or lying down. The area where the injections will be given is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Using a fine needle, the physician injects the sclerosant into the affected vein. The injections are usually spaced about one inch apart. When the sclerosant is injected into the vein, it irritates the inner lining of the vein, causing it to scar and close off. Over time, the body absorbs the closed-off vein, and the blood is redirected to healthy veins.
After receiving this varicose vein treatment in Jennings, patients should wear compression leggings for up to seven days, avoid heavy exercise for several days following their treatment, and make sure to keep the injection sites clean and dry.
Managing Varicose Veins At Home
There are several things you can do at home to manage varicose veins and reduce your symptoms:
- Elevate your legs. Elevating your legs above the level of your heart can help to reduce swelling and improve blood flow. Try lying down with your legs propped up on a pillow or using a footstool to elevate your feet when sitting.
- Exercise regularly. Staying active can help to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of developing varicose veins. Walking, swimming, and biking are all good options.
- Wear compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings can help to reduce swelling and improve blood flow. They are especially helpful for people who stand or sit for long periods.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts extra strain on your veins, which can lead to varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help to prevent or manage varicose veins.
- Avoid high heels. High heels can put extra strain on your veins, especially if you wear them for long periods of time. Try to wear comfortable, flat shoes whenever possible.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods. Prolonged stretches of sitting or standing can put extra strain on your veins. Try to take regular breaks to walk around and stretch your legs.
While these home remedies can help to manage varicose veins and reduce your symptoms, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. If your varicose veins are causing significant discomfort or if you have other concerns, it's important to speak to a varicose vein treatment specialist in Jennings for more information.
Discuss Varicose Vein Treatment With Our Jennings Professionals
Varicose veins affect an estimated 22 million women and 11 million men in the United States. While they are not usually a serious health concern, they can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. It is important to be proactive in seeking treatment for varicose veins. Following your doctor's recommendations can help manage your varicose veins and reduce your risk of complications.
If you are interested in varicose vein treatment in Jennings or from one of our other clinic locations, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Contact our Jennings location at 337-788-2554 or request an appointment online. If you are concerned about your varicose veins or if you are experiencing discomfort or other symptoms, let Cardiovascular Institute of the South help you find relief with minimally invasive solutions.