Capitol Vein Blog

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Complications with Delayed Varicose Vein Treatment

Patients often ask if there is any urgency to treat varicose veins, especially those that are causing minimal symptoms. I saw a patient yesterday in my Leesburg, Virginia office who is a good example of what may occur to patients who delay treatment. As you can see from the photo, she has developed a venous stasis ulcer and has inflammation surrounding the sore. This is a C6 stage of disease in the CEAP classification system.

The patient is a bus driver who initially saw me almost a year ago with lower leg varicose veins that were causing itching and mild aching.  Her venous ultrasound showed that she had saphenous vein reflux, the common cause of varicosities. I had her try support hose, as advised by her insurance company, before treatment would be authorized. She complied with this, but neglected to keep her follow up appointment a few months later.

She then developed a rather significant infection of the inner lower calf around a cluster of varicose veins, necessitating hospitalization, antibiotics and loss of work time. Of course, this could have easily been prevented by timely treatment of her venous insufficiency. Endovenous ablation with the Venefit Procedure has led many physicians and patients to rethink varicose vein treatment, as the results are so effective with no recovery needed. Patients return to normal activity the same day as this procedure.

The elimination of the elevated pressure in the venous system allows the normalization of flow in the leg and alleviates the symptoms seen with varicose veins. Even those patients with mild symptoms benefit significantly by treatment of the reflux in these abnormal veins.

Scheduling an evaluation earlier rather than later is your best option to help prevent worsening symptoms. Insurance considers varicose veins to be a medical condition and treatment is often a part of your benefit plan. Any of our regional veins centers in Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia is available to help you get the best advice for your condition.

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