What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and sometimes painful veins that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood. These veins have experienced the breakdown in the return pump valve, which in turn allows the blood to stay in these veins resulting in their dilation.
Once a vein becomes dilated, it is no longer functioning optimally for the benefit for the body’s circulatory system.
Varicose vein treatment photo
What are the treatment options available for varicose veins?
- Endovascular Laser Treatment (EVLT)
EVLT is performed for the treatment of large, bulging varicose veins and their underlying cause, venous reflux. With endovenous laser therapy, no surgery is required and the entire procedure can be performed in less than an hour, making it the best laser treatment for varicose leg veins. The most advanced laser of the latest generation emits an infrared laser beam. The laser energy delivered intravenously does not penetrate through the vein wall and, therefore, does not cause damage to the tissues, surrounding the vein. Result: less or completely absent post-procedure discomfort.
- Sclerotherapy is another treatment for both varicose and spider veins. This outpatient procedure involves injecting a sclerosing solution (usually Sodium Tetradecyl Sulphate) through a tiny needle into the vein, which then collapses and is absorbed by the body. Foam is made first from sclerosant and then injected via scalp vein.
Treatments involve one or more injections during one or more sessions, depending on the type, number and severity of the varicose / spider veins being treated. By the end of the sclerotherapy treatment program, the veins are no longer visible on the skin surface. Sclerotherapy can also relieve symptoms associated with enlarged veins and prevent further complications from occurring. On average, two to three sclerotherapy sessions are required, spaced four to six weeks apart.
After each session, patients may have to wear bandages or support hose for a few days or weeks and are encouraged to walk or exercise to speed recovery. Bruising and swelling (if present) should fade within a week or two. Sclerotherapy rarely produces more severe side effects such as scarring, although it cannot prevent the recurrence of vascular lesions.
Local anesthesia is used for endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). With the assistance of ultrasound, a small catheter is inserted into the greater saphenous vein (a large vein in the inner thigh); a thin laser fiber is threaded into the catheter and laser energy is delivered through the fiber into the vein, causing the vein to close.
After the endovenous laser treatment, a gauze pad and tape will be placed over the puncture site and a compression bandage will be worn for several days and replaced by compression hose for several weeks. Individuals are able to walk and return to work or resume usual activities on the same or the next day. Patients are prescribed an antibiotic and a pain killer for 3 days.