What are Varicose Veins?
Millions of people are affected by varicose veins. Varicose veins are those bulging, rope like vessels that are unsightly and can be painful, causing heavy cramping and discomfort. Because varicose veins are often the result of a chronic vein condition known as venous insufficiency, these unsightly veins tend to increase in number and size over time.
People suffering from varicose vein pain may have the following symptoms:
- Leg pains
- Restless legs
- Night cramps
- Heavy feeling in their legs
- Skin discoloration
- Leg ulcers
Most diabetic leg sores are actually due to vein disease and are curable.
Vein disease typically worsens with time. If left untreated, varicose veins cause chronic leg swelling, discoloration, skin thickening and painful ulcers, which can bleed. Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves inside the veins become incompetent. This results in venous reflux or the “backward” flow of blood, leading to bulging vessel walls and pooling of blood, usually in the lower legs.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose vein causes vary, but a person’s age can be a contributing factor. As we get older our veins tend to lose elasticity, allowing them to stretch and make vein valves less efficient. Pregnancy is another precursor to varicose vein development due to an increase in blood volume and the uterus exerting greater pressure on the leg veins. Additional varicose vein causes include obesity, genetics, injury and even a person’s occupation.
Varicose Veins Treatment
Treatment options for varicose veins include minimally invasive Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT), foam Sclerotherapy and compression. It is best to consult with an experienced varicose vein doctor, who can recommend the best treatment option depending on the condition of your veins.
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Laser treatment for varicose veins or EVLT, uses an ultra-fine fiber placed with an IV into the greater saphenous vein. Computerized laser energy is used to denature the veins inner cell layer and cause the vein to collapse and close. This particular laser treatment for varicose veins eliminates the “reflux” flow and thus the cause of the problem.
Typically used on smaller, more superficial varicose veins, this method employs a sclerosing agent that is injected directly into the vein and chemically denatures the inner vein lining. This too causes the vein to collapse and seal shut.
Compression therapy represents your first line of defense against worsening or new vein issues. This non-invasive treatment holds in bulging veins and promotes proper blood flow—decreasing the ache and fullness. Available in a variety of styles, pressure grades and lengths, you can wear compression stockings as often as needed. Continuous compression therapy may eliminate or delay your need for further varicose vein treatments.
Both EVLT and Sclerotherapy, typically takes less than an hour and there is little to no recovery time. However, it is then recommend that compression stockings be worn for several days following treatment.
It’s that easy! Best of all, laser treatment for varicose veins and sclerotherapy are covered by most insurance providers.
The most common side effects of varicose vein treatments are that the legs look worse before they look better. Side effects of the procedure are rare; however, they may include, but are not limited to:
- temporary bruising, swelling, scabs and discoloration;
- temporary pigmentation called hemosiderin (iron); and
- only partial response.
Am I a Candidate for Treatment?
If you can answer yes to any of the symptoms below, you may be a candidate for varicose vein treatment.
- Restless legs
- Heavy feeling
- Skin discoloration
- Pain in the legs
- Cramps worse at night
- Legs are swollen, red or warm to the touch
- Large bulging veins or small spider veins
- Ulcers or sores in the leg usually close to the ankle
Conditions that exclude the use of sclerotherapy include pregnancy, breast-feeding or being bed-ridden amongst others.
Frequently Asked Questions about Treatment Procedures
How can I prepare for Sclerotherapy treatment?
No particular preparations are required. Varicose vein treatment requires that you shave your legs, do not use lotion prior to treatment, wear loose-fit clothing and eat normally.
What does the Sclerotherapy procedure feel like?
The injections feel like small stings, similar to mosquito bites, and are not especially painful.
Will I be able to walk after these minimally invasive treatments?
Patients can walk immediately after vein treatment.
Will I have a scar?
There will be no scars or stitches. EVLT and thermal ablation might leave a tiny nick in the skin about the size of a pencil tip.
What can I expect after varicose vein Sclerotherapy treatment?
After the procedure, a compression stocking will be applied that cannot be removed except on your follow-up visits.
How much time should I take off if I’m having the LASE procedure?
The procedure takes about 1 hour and many are able to resume usual activities right away.
The Delaware Vein Center is based in Georgetown, DE but will gladly welcome and treat patients in the Delaware Metropolitan area including Dover, Wilmington and Newark. At present, the majority of our clients reside in Lewes, Millsboro, Laurel, Seaford, and Milford to name a few. Call today or schedule your consultation online to receive your free comprehensive vein screening.
Due to popular demand, we are providing services to Wilmington and surrounding areas.
The Delaware Vein Center is devoted to serving the Delaware Metropolitan area, including Dover, Wilmington and Newark. At present, the majority of our patients are located within the Lewes, Millsboro, Laurel, Seaford, and Milford areas to name a few. Call today to find out how The Delaware Vein Center can help you.