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Is Sclerotherapy Right for Your Vein Treatment?

Is Sclerotherapy Right for Your Vein Treatment?

A vein treatment to reduce or eliminate varicose veins can be just the thing to help you feel better about the way your legs look and feel. With varicose veins, there can be aching, heaviness, pain, restlessness, and other problems, especially when walking or standing. In some cases those kinds of problems can also be felt when trying to sleep. To get relief from the look of varicose veins and the discomfort they can cause, sclerotherapy may be the right treatment for you. While it is possible to develop varicose veins or spider veins in other areas of the body, the legs are the area where these kinds of problems are most commonly seen.

Vascular Surgeons Perform Sclerotherapy Routinely

With sclerotherapy, you have an injected medication that is placed into the vein. That medication effectively shuts down the flow of blood to the vein, ultimately eliminating it. There are a number of different medications that are used for this procedure, and these can be injected as a foam or as a liquid. An ultrasound is used to guide the injection into larger or more hidden veins, and perforator veins, in order to make sure the procedure is done correctly and in the right place. The perforator veins must be handled very carefully, as they connect the superficial vein systems to the deeper systems.

Use of the ultrasound means better coverage and more accuracy, but even with that availability not all veins are good candidates for a sclerosant medication. Your doctor will be able to determine whether the veins you want to have treated will respond well, or whether there are other options that would be a better choice for your particular situation, such as the Venefit procedure. For those who can use the sclerosant medications and are good candidates for the treatment, getting the right doctor is very important. You want to feel good about the person treating you, and their knowledge and experience.

Choose a Vein Clinic Where You Feel Comfortable

Getting the right treatment matters, but so does feeling comfortable with the vein doctors who will be helping you. Whether you have opted for a injectable medication treatment, or you have chosen Venefit or VNUS closure, you need to feel good about the doctors, the treatment, and the staff at the clinic where you will have the procedure done. Taking your time and asking plenty of questions can make you feel better about your decision, which may make the entire procedure easier and less stressful for you.

When you locate the right vein clinic, you will find that you feel at ease, and that everything is explained to you. Your questions will be answered, and your nerves will be calmed. After the procedure, you should have a quick recovery time, as well. Just follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare, and you will be back to normal activities very quickly.

How Vascular Surgeons Treat Varicose Veins

Some patients see varicose veins as cosmetic annoyances.  For others, they are the source of discomfort and significantly upset daily routines.  One of the most popular types of vein treatment for this condition is Venefit™, a procedure performed by a vascular surgeon at a vein clinic.

Varicose Veins Overview

Varicose veins occur when valves, primarily in the legs, malfunction.  These vessels return blood to the heart for recirculation.  According to the Mayo Clinic, with age, valves can weaken.  This allows blood that should be traveling upward to flow backward and pool behind the affected valve.

As pools accumulate, blood vessels greatly enlarge until the patient develops venous insufficiency, then varicose veins.  These unsightly vessels have a rope-like appearance and are usually blue or purple.

Some varicose veins develop as a direct result of pregnancy.  These often resolve on their own, without the need for medical intervention.

While there are a number of vein treatments to get rid of varicose vessels, no therapy can prevent new ones from forming.  As a result, some patients return to a vein clinic periodically for additional treatments.

The first step toward varicose vein treatment is an initial consultation with a vein specialist.  This physician will recommend the best treatment options.

How the Venefit Procedure Works

This technique was formerly called the VNUS Closure.  Covidien, provider of the catheter used in the Venefit procedure, indicates that more than 20 percent of the population suffers from varicose veins or venous insufficiency.  The procedure is a type of endovenous therapy.

According to Stony Brook Medicine, during endovenous therapy, vascular surgeons temporarily place a flexible, thin catheter inside the great saphenous vein in the leg to deliver heat.  The technique uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to produce even heat.  It is the only RF ablation therapy that uses this energy to destroy veins.

Vein doctors perform this procedure on an outpatient basis.  The uniform heat warms collagen fibers to the point that they shrink, causing a targeted vessel to collapse, then close.  Eventually, treated veins disappear.

Vascular surgeons are able to place the catheter precisely thanks to the use of ultrasound to guide them.  After a varicose vein has closed, the body redirects blood that would normally flow through it to health veins nearby.

This type of therapy for varicose vessels has largely replaced older, more severe techniques like vein stripping.  Physicians use a local anesthetic for this radiofrequency treatment, which usually takes an hour or less.

Vein doctors recommend this therapy to patients who are good candidates because it is quick and requires only a short recovery period.  They urge individuals to start walking immediately after their treatment.  Patients report returning to their usual daily activities soon after arriving home.  Most experience little discomfort or bruising from this procedure.


What Patients Should Know About Thrombophlebitis

When a vein becomes inflamed as the result of a blood clot, the condition is known as thrombophlebitis.  This news can be frightening to some patients.  However, prompt medical attention to the inflammation typically results in a positive outcome.

Overview of Thrombophlebitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two forms of this inflammation:

  • Superficial usually occurs in the superficial veins found in the legs and arms.  Symptoms include tenderness, warmth, and pain in the area around the vein.  Swelling and redness are common.  The vein sometimes looks hard and resembles a cord.  Complications are rare.
  • Deep vein typically causes leg swelling, pain, and tenderness.  Potential complications include a pulmonary embolism or post-phlebetic syndrome.  Deep-vein thrombosis can be life-threatening.

Vein doctors, also called vascular surgeons, know that both types of inflammation share a common cause.  Clots can be the result of anything that causes blood to not circulate properly.  Potential risk factors include:

  • Vein injury like an IV needle stick
  • A blood-clotting disorder present at birth
  • Long periods of immobility, such as being bedridden
  • Paralysis of legs or arms related to a stroke
  • Presence of a pacemaker or a central vein catheter
  • Pregnancy or recent delivery
  • Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills
  • Family history of clotting
  • Age greater than 60
  • Varicose veins

The Keck School of Medicine of USC reports that any condition linked to sluggish blood flow in a vein raises the risk of a blood clot forming.  This could also include smoking, obesity, or surgical procedures.

Vein Treatment Options

There are fortunately many ways to treat vein inflammation resulting from a blood clot.  Vascular surgeons generally recommend avoiding any pressure on the affected area and elevating it to reduce any swelling.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the standard options vein doctors utilize for this type of vascular inflammation include:

  • Analgesics for pain
  • Antibiotics if there is an infection
  • Anticoagulants to thin the blood and avoid new clots
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to cut inflammation and pain
  • Thrombolytics that dissolve clots

Since having varicose veins is a risk factor for a superficial inflammation, vein specialists often recommend wearing compression stockings and avoiding sitting or standing for extended periods for patients with these vessels.  For those who have already experienced an episode of superficial inflammation, varicose vein treatment at a vein clinic helps prevent another occurrence.

The most common types of treatment for varicose vessels are:

  • Sclerotherapy to eliminate small veins
  • Ablation to close a vessel via heat, often the Venefit procedure, previously called the VNUS Closure
  • Bypass to reroute circulation around the vessel
  • Microphlebectomy to remove the vein through small incisions
  • Angioplasty and stenting to open a vessel with a balloon and hold it open with a mesh tube
  • Vein stripping to remove a vessel with severe, recurrent problems


Ambulatory Phlebectomy: The Right Vein Treatment

Having varicose veins can make you feel bad about the way your legs look. While it is often mostly a cosmetic issue, there can be underlying conditions that should also be addressed when there are varicose veins present. Additionally, some people who have varicose veins can find that they have pain, itching, aching, heaviness, and other feelings in their legs, that can make walking, standing, and even sleeping difficult. With an ambulatory phlebectomy, it is possible to get quick treatment for your varicose veins and be back to your regular activities in no time.

Choosing the Right Vein Clinic is Important

When you decide that you are interested in having a Venefit procedure, an ambulatory phlebectomy, a VNUS closure, or another type of procedure to reduce or eliminate your varicose veins, making sure you are working with the right vein doctors is very important. In a microphlebectomy, for example, tiny punctures are made in the skin and the veins are removed through them. Since this procedure is only minimally invasive, and the punctures are so small, there are no stitches needed to close the area where the veins were removed.

When you are standing up, varicose veins can appear very large. They bulge against the skin, and many people think that they are a lot bigger than they really are. Because veins are so easily collapsible, though, they can be removed through a very tiny puncture, instead of a larger incision. Local anesthetic is used on the area, and the veins are removed right in the office or clinic. The procedure may be combined with a catheter ablation, but that is not necessarily required. It depends on the size of the veins and other factors. the Vascular surgeons you work with can recommend the best treatment options for your particular case.

You Can Recover Quickly After Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Right after the procedure you can walk, and it will not be long before you can return to your normal activities. Most people heal up from the ambulatory phlebectomy very quickly. Just be sure to follow your doctors’ instructions about what you can and cannot do in the days following your procedure. If you have a desk job, for example, you may be able to go back to work the next day. A job where you will be on your feet all day, or one that requires heavy lifting, may mean that you need to stay home from work for a bit longer, to ensure that you have healed completely.

Your vein doctor can talk with you about any modifications to your daily routine that you will need to make, so you know what to expect both before and after the procedure. Make sure a vein doctor leaves you feeling confident about the vein treatment you choose, and the end result you expect.