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What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are not only cosmetic – they are swollen, twisted, painful veins that appear at the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are a result of a condition known as Venous Insufficiency or Venous Reflux. They occur most commonly in the feet and ankles, and are a result of weakened or failed valves. The calf muscle helps move blood from the legs back into the heart. If the vein fails, blood cannot return to the heart and stays in the legs. Left untreated, this condition continues to get worse and can lead to serious complications and a blood clot.

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Treatment:

Sclerotherapy:  This is the most common treatment for leg veins.

  • Your physician / provider injects a chemical into the spider or varicose vein. (Different areas of the vein are injected).
  • A compression stocking or wrapping is placed on the leg
  • Daily walking while wearing compression is suggested
  • You can return to most activities or work the next day

Sclerotherapy causes the walls of the vein to stick together, so the blood cannot flow through it anymore.  This improves circulation in the treated leg and reduces swelling.  Spider veins usually disappear in 3 to 6 weeks.  Varicose veins take 3 to 4 months.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) – is a procedure that is performed to treat venous insufficiency.  A small tube is inserted into the affected vein using ultrasound guidance.  Once the tube is in, a special catheter is introduced up the vein to the area that needs to be closed down.  Utilizing laser energy, the vein wall collapses and closes.  After the procedure, you may begin walking immediately – activity is encouraged as tolerated.

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) – is similar to EVLT.  In RFA, radio frequency waves are delivered into the vein wall, causing it to shrink and close.  The recovery time is the same as EVLT.

Phlebectomy – A small needle and hook are introduced into the vein after it is numb.  The physician then snares the vein and removes it from the leg.

Compression Stockings – These stockings apply steady pressure to help move the blood back to your heart.  The steady pressure also lessens swelling in your lower legs and reduces the risk of getting a blood clot.

Before & After Varicose Veins Photos

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