When it comes to varicose vein treatments, it may get confusing when researching the different types of treatments. Finding the best varicose vein treatment for you is dependent on several factors. Among them:
- Your age and overall health
- The severity of your varicose veins
- Your symptoms
- How well you might do with specific procedures
- Your goals and opinions about how you look and feel
- What the doctor expects your condition to be in the future
Scheduling a consultation with a vein doctor can help decide which varicose vein treatment procedure is the best choice for you.
Varicose Vein Surgery
There are two types of varicose vein procedures: remove the diseased veins or close them. Removing or closing a vein will not limit the blood supply to the legs. Instead other, healthy veins transports blood through the legs. Removing a vein immediately gets rid of the varicose vein. Where as, results from closing the vein can take several weeks to show while the vein is absorbed by the body. Let’s review some of the treatment options and their differences for treating varicose veins.
Removing the Diseased Varicose Vein
The most common ways to surgically remove varicose veins are:
Stripping and Ligation
In the past, varicose vein surgery involved stripping and ligation of the diseased veins. This treatment option was the norm when the varicose veins were large or below the surface. This varicose vein treatment requires general anesthesia. The doctor cuts two incisions. One incision is at the knee or ankle, and another incision is close to the groin of the patient. The vein doctor threads a flexible and thin wire through the bottom or lower part of the vein and pulls it out the top incision, in the process taking the vein out with it. Then stitches close both cuts. Recuperation includes wrapping and bandaging the legs for several days. The patient may need to stay overnight in the hospital to enable him or her to recuperate. Several factors affect recuperation time, such as if both legs require surgery. This procedure has three side effects; bleeding, bruising, and excruciating pain.
While vein stripping once was the most common treatment option, it is rarely used now. Modern treatment options utilize advanced technology and medical imaging to provide less invasive options with excellent results.
Another method of removing diseased veins is with Ambulatory Phlebectomy (AP). This varicose vein treatment only needs a local anesthesia, rather than requiring general anesthesia. Treatment occurs in the office, with no hospital stay. The doctor makes a number of tiny needle punctures in the skin along the affected vein and removes it from the leg. AP can even treat large ropy varicose veins. This typically takes less than an hour and there is no scarring from the procedure.
Learn more about Ambulatory Phlebectomy
Closing the Diseased Varicose Vein
For varicose vein treatments that closes the diseased vein, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into an enlarged vein and heats the tip of the catheter using either radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut. This procedure is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins. The most common ways to close varicose veins are:
This non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure uses radiofrequency to deliver heat through a tiny catheter into a problem vein to close it off and dissolve it. The doctor does this treatment right in the office, using local anesthesia or a mild sedative.
Learn more about Radiofrequency Ablation
Minimally invasive, nearly painless and performed in the office, this is a whole new option in vein treatment that requires only local anesthesia with no downtime and no resulting scars! A thin tube is inserted though the affected vein which serves as a channel for the laser fiber. The tube guides the laser as it slowly heats the vein until it collapses shut. The whole treatment takes less than 20 minutes.
Learn more about EVLT
This procedure is quite simple and considerably straightforward. It is typically a spider vein treatment, but also treats on small and medium varicose veins that are close to the surface. Basically, a doctor would have to inject a chemical into the small or medium veins. Once the irritant settles in the affected part, it scars and closes it. The chemical might have to be injected a couple of times to ensure it works properly.
At Vein Institute Of Connecticut, we offer patients a number of innovative and advanced treatments for varicose veins. To ensure that you feel little or no pain, each procedure is carried out with local anesthesia.