Capitol Vein Blog

Friday, December 16, 2016

Don't Neglect Your Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are caused by are not only unsightly, but cause leg pain, cramps, risk of blood clots and skin damage due to elevated pressures in the veins. Blood should flow up the leg against gravity, but as the one-way valves weaken, blood is forced downward from groin to foot. It's similar to inflating a balloon--as the air pressure is increased, the balloon inflates and deforms. Similarly, as the vein pressure is increased, the veins swell, enlarge and deform.

Fortunately, treatment is highly effective, long lasting and simply done in the office under local anesthesia. Importantly, your insurance plan often cover the treatment because we all recognize that if left untreated, varicose veins progress and increase the risk of longer term side effects. We see patients with these kind of veins come in with sudden blood clots (phlebitis) and rashes that could be prevented by treating these veins at an early stage.

Endovenous ablation with VNUS Closure is the "gold standard" treatment for saphenous vein reflux, the usual cause of varicosities. VNUS Closure lets us use a heated wire to shrink the refluxing vein, thereby establishing normal blood flow and circulation to the leg. Microphlebectomy is also used to remove small surface veins. The photo you see above is of a patient who underwent both procedures, and as you can see, the results are impressive.

A newer procedure, VenaSeal, allows us to seal the vein using a glue instead of a heated wire. The advantage of this is a couple of fewer needles for local anesthesia, but importantly, insurance does not cover this particular treatment. Insurance is actually quite good for the VNUS Closure and phlebectomy.

If you have concerns about your veins and have varicose veins that are bulging and unsightly, let us give you advice and management guidelines that will help prevent longer term problems.

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