How Can I Get Rid of My Varicose Veins?
How can I get rid of my varicose veins, and what can be done to get my legs looking and feeling better? Especially with summertime upon us, these are questions that often come to our minds.
Varicose and “spider” veins are an incredibly common problem in the USA, afflicting as many at 25 percent of the adult population. Bulging, aching, and unsightly varicose veins often appear as a result of an underlying medical condition called Venous Insufficiency. Over 40 percent of women will have venous insufficiency by the age of 40 (70 percent by the time we turn 60), often presenting with complaints of unsightly leg veins, leg swelling, and various types of discomfort in the legs. In the past, treatment of the condition was limited to either surgical vein stripping or a lifetime of compression stockings. Today, however, we are typically able to treat Venous Insufficiency with minimally invasive procedures. At Maryland Vein Professionals, we utilize radiofrequency ablation, a technique now referred to as the VenefitTM procedure (previously VNUS Closure). The procedure can be completed during a short visit in the office setting, it’s covered by most insurance plans, and you can return to essentially normal activity the same day. If necessary, persistent veins following the procedure may be cleared using another minimally invasive treatment called Sclerotherapy.
The VenefitTM Procedure treats venous insufficiency, the underlying cause of most varicose veins. The procedure works by closing the damaged veins below the skin surface that cause abnormal pressure to build up in the bulging skin veins. When the malfunctioning veins are closed, blood flow is redirected into the healthy deep veins of the leg. With correction of the abnormal pressure, the bulging veins at the skin surface flatten, fade and may even disappear completely. Any residual veins may be addressed with cosmetic techniques, such as sclerotherapy, once adequate time, usually 6-8 weeks, has been allowed to assess the response following the VenefitTM procedure.
Sclerotherapy is a technique where a fine needle is used to inject a medication called sclerosant into the small, diseased veins at the skin surface. As the sclerosant passes through these veins, the blood vessel closes. The vein disappears as the medicine travels. See a video on our website here: mdveinprofessionals.com/video/Sclerotherapy.mov.
Sclerotherapy should not be performed if there is untreated Venous Insufficiency as this underlying condition will diminish the desired outcome. We have seen many patients who had Sclerotherapy treatment elsewhere only to have their veins reappear a short time later. Often when we assess them with duplex ultrasound performed by our specialized sonographers trained in Venous Imaging we identify untreated Venous Insufficiency.
At Maryland Vein Professionals, we advocate a minimally invasive approach. Many patients who were seen elsewhere relate that they were told they must undergo vein stripping or phlebectomy. These are surgical procedures in which the skin is cut and the veins are removed. While it is true that these treatments may be necessary in cases of complex anatomy or severe, longstanding disease, we find that the vast majority of patients can be successfully treated in our office with minimally invasive techniques and without surgical procedures.
Please visit our Website, www.MDVeinProfessionals.com, for before and after images and patient testimonials. Call us at 410-964-VEIN (8346) or 877-7MD-VEIN to arrange your evaluation.
A Board Certified Vascular Surgeon, Dr. Lingelbach provides vein care services primarily at Maryland Vein Professionals’ Chevy Chase location. Maryland Vein Professionals has multiple offices throughout the area.