Capitol Vein Blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Study Shows Varicose Vein Treatment Also A Cure For Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

A new study presented at the American College of Phlebology’s 2010 annual congress showed that more than 90% of patients with who have both varicose veins and restless leg syndrome (RLS) are cured when treated with VNUS closure, EVLT, phlebectomy or sclerotherapy.

Restless Leg Syndrome affects up to 10% of the population. RLS is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Symptoms occur primarily at night, as lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms.  Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep, but moving the legs can relieve the discomfort.

While many cases of RLS have no clear cause, others are termed “secondary” RLS with related factors, one of which is varicose veins.  Because the diagnosis of secondary RLS is difficult, we feel that many patients should have an ultrasound of the leg veins to identify those who will benefit from vein treatment. Most patients find near complete resolution of the leg symptoms.

When we find patients with RLS who have saphenous vein reflux, we treat with VNUS Closure to restore more normal leg vein flow. Some of these patients also have bulging surface veins that will benefit from microphlebectomy to improve circulation. Interestingly, patients with only spider veins (and no large surface veins) also have RLS symptoms, and treating with sclerotherapy has proven beneficial.

If you would like to find out more about the treatment of restless leg syndrome or varicose veins, visit our website or call our offices in Frederick, MD; Bethesda, MD; Charles Town, WV; and Leesburg, VA.


Tammy Wilkinson, RN, Clinical Director said...

Recently we’ve noticed more patients complaining of Restless Leg Syndrome, calf cramps and night cramps. One of our patients in particular searched WebMD for help. He’s been eating 2 bananas a day to help boost his potassium levels in hopes the night cramps would cease. Although decreased potassium levels can often be a direct cause of muscle cramping, there certainly seems to be a high incidence of calf cramping and/ or Restless Leg syndrome seen in patients with varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Our approach is to treat the venous insufficiency with VNUS Closure and the varicose veins with microphlebectomy or sclerotherapy.

We are happy to report that symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome and / or calf cramps and night cramps have dissipated in all instances when these symptoms occurred in combination with varicose veins and venous insufficiency. Tamara Wilkinson, RN, Clinical Director at Capitol Vein & Laser Center.

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