Healthy leg veins have valves that keep blood flowing to the heart. Vein disease develops when the valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward and pool in the lower leg veins. Aches, pains, swelling, heaviness, and restless legs can be symptoms of vein disease. In addition you may see some visual symptoms in the form of Varicose Veins or Spider Veins.
The cardiovascular specialists at Bay Area Heart Center offer treatment options for varicose and spider veins to minimize discomfort and improve appearance. Venous treatments include microphlebectomy, endovenous ablation, and sclerotherapy. Your cardiologist will first order a venous duplex ultrasound, which sends sound waves through the affected area, creating images to view the flow of blood through the veins in the legs. He or she will use the ultrasound to determine which treatment is most appropriate for your condition.
Varicose veins are veins that are unnaturally and permanently distended. They are large, “rope-like” veins often 1/4 inch or larger in diameter. Vein walls or vein valves near the skin can become damaged from natural stretching or weakening because of the pressure of the blood flowing through the veins. Varicose veins often appear through the skin on a person’s legs as blue, bulging, and twisted veins; in some cases the veins may be raised or stand out on the surface of the skin.
Named for their resemblance to a spider or spider web, spider veins are a mild variation of varicose veins. They are the small, thread-like colored veins that are most often seen on the surface of the skin. Venules (tiny blood vessels) near the skin’s surface may become permanently dilated because of the pressure of blood inside leg veins. While many people seek treatment for spider veins for cosmetic reasons, spider veins also can result in substantial discomfort requiring therapy.
Microphlebectomy is used to treat painful, unpleasant varicose veins that are located close to the skin’s surface. The procedure is ideal for treating veins that are too large to treat with sclerotherapy and too small to safely and successfully treat with laser procedures.
In endovenous laser therapy (also referred to as thermal or radiofrequency ablation), a thin laser fiber is inserted into the diseased vein, generally through a small puncture in the leg above where the visual symptoms appear. The physician then delivers laser energy through the fiber which heats the vein walls and causes the vein to close as the fiber is gradually removed. No longer able to carry blood, the vein breaks up and is reabsorbed by the body.
Used for varicose veins and venous ulcers, endovenous laser therapy can be performed in our office in less than one hour, and you are encouraged to walk immediately following the procedure. Most people report little to no pain associated with endovenous laser therapy.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for the removal of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. A small volume of a sclerosing liquid is injected into the diseased vein, which causes it to seal shut, eliminating the vein completely. Sclerotherapy is a quick in-office procedure and does not require any anesthesia.
Blood circulation is carried out through healthy veins located deeper within the body, so the outward appearance and sometimes pain associated with the problematic veins is significantly reduced.
The VenaSeal™ closure system is the only non-tumescent, non-thermal, non-sclerosant procedure that uses a proprietary medical adhesive delivered endovenously to close the vein. This unique approach eliminates the risk of thermal nerve injury when treating the small saphenous vein, which is a risk sometimes associated with certain thermal-based procedures. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the procedure is safe and effective. The procedure is administered without the use of tumescent anesthesia, avoiding patient discomfort associated with multiple needle sticks.
Do you experience pain while standing?
Do your legs feel itchy especially in the ankles?
Do your legs feel tired at the end of the day?
Do you notice a brown or blue coloring to your legs?
Are your veins looking enlarged, twisted and close to skin surface?
Do you have a tender lump on your leg?
Do you have sores or ulcers on your legs or near your ankles?
Does leg pain lesson when your legs are raised?