There are several treatment options for those who are suffering from varicose veins. Your doctor will decide on a course of action depending on findings from an examination, x-rays, and perhaps an ultrasound picture. These will help the doctor to decide the condition of your veins and that along with your particular lifestyle will factor in to deciding what treatment will be best. There are both surgeries and treatments available to help alleviate the discomforts of varicose veins.
The available surgeries and treatments are:
Sclerotherapy, electrodesiccation, laser surgery, closure technique, surgical ligation and stripping, and also ambulatory phlebectomy.
Sclerotherapy is a common treatment for both varicose vein and spider vein. A solution is injected into the vein that will make the vein wall swell, stick together and then seal shut. Then the flow of blood ceases and the vein eventually fades away. Other veins in the area will take over for this vein. There is an improved sclerotherapy called microsclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy can be done in the doctor’s office and does not require the use of anesthesia.
Electrodesiccation is a treatment that is very similar to sclerotherapy except that instead of injecting solution into the vein; the vein is sealed off using an electrical current. This type of treatment may leave scars.
Laser surgery can be effective on varicose veins in the legs because of new technology. Burst of light are sent onto the affected vein which causes the vein to fade and disappear. Lasers are very accurate and only affect the area being treated. This treatment is more comfortable for patients because there are no needles or incisions used.
The skin is cooled before and after laser treatment and the patient will feel only a small pinch as the laser is applied to the skin. The skin may turn red and may swell but will only last a few days. Treatments last from 15 to 20 minutes. Usually 2 to 5 treatments are needed depending on the severity of the vein.
Closure technique can be done in a doctor’s office and involves placing a special catheter, which is a small tube into the affected vein. The tube sends radio frequency energy into the vein wall that will shrink it and cause it to seal. There may be slight bruising.
Surgical Ligation and Stripping:
This surgery is done on an outpatient basis under either local or general anesthesia. The affected vein is tied and completely removed from the leg. Wound infection, swelling and redness or inflammation can occur. A common complication of this surgery is that nerve tissue surrounding the vein may be damaged. This may cause numbness, burning or a change in sensation around the area.
This surgery is used on large veins and involves making small incisions in the vein and removing it using surgical hooks. This is done using local or regional anesthesia. It takes only one treatment to complete and leaves only very small scars.
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