Contact Us | Location

When to Visit a Vascular Surgeon

When to Visit a Vascular Surgeon

If you have noticed symptoms of varicose veins or spider veins, you may wonder if it is time to visit a vascular surgeon for treatment. To find out whether you should make an appointment, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Have my veins changed?

For most people, the first symptom of varicose veins or spider veins is a change in the appearance of the veins on the face, hands, chest or legs. Varicose veins are most common on the legs and usually appear as large, bulging veins that may be raised above the skin’s surface. Spider veins, on the other hand, are smaller and easily visible through the skin, but they don’t usually bulge or swell.

2. Do I have other symptoms?

Abnormal veins can cause physical symptoms in addition to cosmetic concerns. These symptoms are most pronounced when varicose veins develop in the legs. Some of the most common symptoms include restlessness, swelling, throbbing, weakness, pain, itching and more. In the worst cases, varicose veins may even cause ulcerations in the skin. People with abnormal veins often notice that their symptoms get worse after they spend time on their feet.

3. Do my veins respond to conservative treatment from a vascular surgeon?

Some mild cases of abnormal veins may respond to conservative treatment methods you can use at home, such as compression stockings to reduce swelling, elevation of your legs and regular exercise. For patients who are overweight, weight loss can also reduce the symptoms of abnormal veins.

Unfortunately, not all patients will benefit from conservative vein treatment. In other cases, you may notice an improvement after at-home treatment, but your abnormal veins may still be bothersome.

4. Am I interested in surgical treatment?

When conservative treatment isn’t enough to eliminate the symptoms of your condition entirely, a vein procedure can help. Some of the most common treatments offered to patients with spider veins or varicose veins include microphlectomy, sclerotherapy, laser ablation, nonthermal ablation and Venefit. All of these treatments are minimally invasive and carry few risks. However, you may still experience some discomfort and limited downtime. Nonetheless, for many patients, these treatments are the best way to eliminate symptoms and improve the appearance of abnormal veins.

If you have asked yourself the questions above and decided that you are ready to visit a vein doctor, contact Northwest Vein & Aesthetic Center today to schedule an appointment.

Benefits of the Venefit Procedure

Approximately 1 in 4 American adults suffers from varicose veins, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Circulation. While lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity, altering your diet, or decreasing time spent sitting can reduce the likelihood that you will develop new varicose veins, there are special treatments available to remove existing varicosities. One of the newer and exciting treatments is called Venefit procedure, formerly known as VNUS Closure. Your vascular surgeon can help you decide whether Venefit is an appropriate treatment for you.


What Is a Venefit Procedure?

Varicose veins develop when the walls of your veins become weakened. This naturally happens during aging but can be exacerbated by certain factors, such as having a family history of varicose veins and being on your feet long periods. When the vein walls become weaker, blood tends to pool in your vessels. This causes veins to develop a purplish color and to bulge. These unsightly blood vessels are called varicose veins.


Older procedures to eliminate varicose veins required more significant surgical intervention to strip the veins from the body. Venefit was created as an alternative to these invasive procedures. With Venefit, vein doctors use radiofrequency (RF) energy to eliminate varicose veins. The RF energy causes the collagen fibers within the vein’s walls to heat up. As the veins contract, they collapse upon themselves and seal shut. Following the procedure, the body will naturally absorb the vein tissue. The result is smoother, clearer skin.


Benefits of the Venefit Procedure to Treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Vascular surgeons prefer Venefit over other procedures for a variety of reasons. During your visit to the vein clinic, your vein doctor can discuss the benefits of Venefit for you. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • Venefit is an outpatient procedure. With Venefit, you will be in and out of the doctor’s office on the same day. There is minimal down time, with most people resuming their typical everyday activities within a day or two.
  • It is minimally invasive. Unlike other interventions that require more significant surgical intervention, Venefit is minimally invasive. Most patients report little or no pain, and vein doctors find that it is well tolerated by patients of all ages.
  • It is highly effective. Harnessing the power of radiofrequency energy ensures that unsightly varicose veins will be eliminated. Venefit is one of the most effective procedures available on the market today, making it a top choice among patients with chronic venous insufficiency.
  • It leaves little or no scarring. When you’ve completed your treatment, you’ll be pleased to see that Venefit vein treatment results in little or no scarring, keeping your skin smooth, attractive and free of varicose veins.

Talk to the experts at our vein clinic today to decide if Venefit is an appropriate vein treatment for you.


Endovenous Laser Ablation FAQ

What is Endovenous Laser Ablation?

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT) is a treatment for varicose veins. EVLT uses laser energy to create intense heat in the varicose vein. Heat closes the diseased blood vessel so the varicose vein collapses, leaving behind smooth, healthy looking skin. Nearby tissue eventually absorbs the collapsed vein and reroutes blood through other healthier veins.

Vein doctors perform EVLA at a vein clinic. A surgeon performs the procedure by inserting a thin flexible tube, known as a catheter, into the affected vein. The vascular surgeon inserts a laser fiber into the catheter then applies laser heat as she pulls the fiber slowly out of the varicose vein to close it. The doctor leaves the treated veins in place, so there is minimal bleeding and bruising.

Patients who undergo EVLT have no scar but enjoy considerably less discomfort and a faster recovery than with ligation and stripping.

What is the Goal of EVLT?

The goal of EVLT is to reduce the appearance and occasional discomfort of varicose veins. EVLT can also reduce the risk of complications associated with vein disease, including blood clots. EVLA replaces “vein stripping,” a surgical procedure that removes varicose veins.


Who Performs EVLT?

Vascular surgeons perform this varicose vein treatment in qualified vein clinics. Vein doctors evaluate each patient and create a personalized treatment plan for each client.


What are the risks and potential complications of EVLT?

Your surgeon will discuss your specific risks and possible complications of EVLT and help you weigh these against the benefits of the benefits. EVLT   is generally a very safe procedure, but as with any procedure, there are risks that can include bruising or pain at the treatment site, the development of a blood clot in the treated leg, and irritation to the nerves near the treated veins. Your doctor will take special precautions to reduce these risks.


How do I prepare for EVLT?

Preparation is easy and in most cases, you can continue your usual routine, including medications and activity before and after the procedure. You may undergo testing before EVLT to make sure you are a candidate for the procedure. Your surgeon may provide other special instructions to help you prepare for EVLT and the best possible outcome.


What happens during EVLT?

Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic. Using ultrasound guidance to pinpoint the location of the weakened vein, your surgeon inserts a thin flexible tube, known as a catheter, into the varicose vein. The doctor injects a solution along the length of the vein to be treated then uses the power of laser light to heat and collapse the diseased vein. The procedure itself generally takes 30 minutes.

What happens after the procedure?

You can expect to go home soon after the procedure. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow to help your incisions heal, such as elevating the treated leg and wearing compression hose. Full recover takes one to two weeks.

Compared with ligation and stripping, many patients find that EVLT results in less pain and a faster return to normal activities, while avoiding scars.