Early Treatment of Vein Disease: Why It’s Important
Medicine is changing. The role of the physician traditionally had been to treat problems (reactive medicine). The patient saw the doctor when she became sick or developed a condition. As the science of medicine evolves, the prevention and early treatment of many conditions is becoming ever more the imperative of the physician.
In our practice, we see between 200 and 300 new Varicose and Spider Vein patients each month. Our specialty, caring for people with venous insufficiency, has evolved dramatically over the past few years. In the past, patients sought or were referred for vein care only after suffering a blood clot, ulcer, phlebitis, or some other complication of vein disease. This was the case, in part, because the only treatment option was a trip to the operating room for vein stripping surgery, an invasive and painful procedure. Unfortunately too many excellent primary care physicians still follow this paradigm. The complications of longstanding vein disease can now be prevented with an array of minimally invasive outpatient techniques.
Although generally not a life-threatening problem, if left untreated, vein disease can lead to significant morbidity. And unlike many other medical conditions, vein disease may take years to fully manifest. But as with any disease progression, early detection and treatment will produce better outcomes and reduce the risk of developing future complications. It is no longer appropriate to wait until a complication of vein disease occurs to consider treatment. With our minimally invasive vein treatment, VNUS Closure, patients are candidates for treatment when the symptoms interfere with activity and conservative attempts to control symptoms have been unsuccessful.
In my practice, I am surprised to hear from patients that they had been referred elsewhere for vein stripping. Smartly, these patients sought another opinion. To be sure, there are some rare cases where surgical vein removal is the only choice. Fortunately, the vast majority of patients may be successfully treated with minimally invasive VNUS Closure or Sclerotherapy. Our sole focus at Maryland Vein Professionals is minimally invasive vein care. We have performed more than 8,000 closure procedures since 2005. Our specialized outpatient facilities are unparalleled in the region. The closure procedure takes only 1–2 minutes, and patients are out of the office in 60–90 minutes. Most of our patients report little or no discomfort and can enjoy a video during treatment at our specialized centers.
VNUS Closure is a catheter-based treatment that addresses the cause of varicose veins. Veins that bulge at the surface are branches of one or two damaged source veins well below the skin. These damaged veins have incompetent or insufficient valves that no longer function to guide venous blood flow out of the leg. Gravity pulls the venous blood back down the pipes toward the ankle and out into the bulging veins at the skin’s surface. (This is why varicose veins seem to clear when the legs are elevated.) VNUS Closure uses light energy to ablate or close the damaged source veins. This depressurizes the skin veins and blood reroutes to other healthy veins. Sclerotherapy is a treatment for smaller (spider) veins. Here a medicine is injected directly into the spider veins that closes seals and clears the small skin veins. Usually Sclerotherapy is more cosmetic in nature, but there may be medical indications as well.
We are pleased to announce that Maryland Vein Professionals will be offering a Free Vein Screening Event over two days at the beginning of April. See if you are a candidate for treatment on Tuesday, April 5, in the Columbia Main Office or Wednesday, April 6, in the Annapolis Main Office. Both events will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participants should wear shorts to the event. Registration is required and space is limited. Call 410-964-VEIN or 410-268-LEGS to register.
Additional posts by Jonathan Calure
- Choosing a Vein Care Specialist, 09 Feb 2013 in Health & Wellness
- You Can Do Something About Your Varicose Veins, 08 Aug 2011 in Health & Wellness
- New Treatment Options for Spider Veins, 02 Jun 2011 in Health & Wellness
- Ten Misconceptions About Varicose Veins, 31 Jan 2011 in Health & Wellness
- When Should I Seek Treatment for My Varicose Veins?, 02 Dec 2010 in Health & Wellness
- Why Do Varicose Veins Occur With Pregnancy?, 08 Oct 2010 in Health & Wellness
- How Can I Get Rid of My Varicose Veins?, 17 Aug 2010 in Health & Wellness
- An Interview with Dr. Calure of Maryland Vein Professionals, 28 Feb 2010 in Health & Wellness