Varicose veins are observed among as many as 60% of all American adults, and among 50% of women. According to The National Women’s Health Information Center, by the mid 50’s, 41% of women in the US suffer from either spider or varicose veins. Often the first signs of varicose veins appear during pregnancy. However, prolonged constipation, lack of exercise, and additional weight are also contributing factors.
In the past, people who suffered from varicose veins were offered only one treatment option – surgical removal of the diseased binding and veins. This painful procedure is still performed today. Surgery is performed under general anesthesia, followed by a cut in the groin and the knee. This traumatic surgery is often accompanied by the risk of scarring and nerve damage. Recovery from it is painful, time consuming and nearly always requires significant doses of pain medication.
Alternatives to Varicose Vein Surgery
Modern technologies offer alternatives to varicose vein treatment such as sclerotherapy. During this procedure a special drug (sclerosant) is injected into the vein. The drug forms a plug, which excludes the problem vein from the circulatory system.
The good news is that it is a painless procedure that takes about 10-15 minutes. Using this method allows us to selectively remove varicose veins, while maintaining the healthy areas of other blood vessels. It improves blood circulation, removes abnormal blood stasis in the varicose veins, and prevents disease from progressing. The signs of varicose veins disappear as do the clinical manifestations such as swelling, cramps, pain and fatigue.
In many cases, sclerotherapy can quickly solve the problem. However, in other cases, the problem requires a different approach: laser treatment.
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), is another fast and painless procedure. During EVLT the patient is conscious, but the leg under treatment is numbed under local anesthesia. A physician makes a small incision in the leg near the location of the damaged vein and a tiny fiber optic probe is inserted into the vein using ultrasound. A highly concentrated laser beam heats the walls of the veins and reduces them, which causes the unhealthy vein to close.
Laser accuracy allows the doctor to treat the vein, without affecting the surrounding tissue, and when the vein is closed, it is slowly absorbed into the surrounding soft tissue. Other healthy veins in the legs will then take the normal flow of blood to the heart.
We can see from all of this that varicose veins are not a life sentence. There are great alternatives to help you a recover an active and pain free life.