What Is Vein Treatment?
Men and women of all ages are celebrating the freedom from leg pain and other symptoms that vein treatment provides. There are natural questions about what vein treatment is and how it works. Current vein treatments have changed significantly over the years, and have evolved to the point where they are nothing like their predecessors. In any discussion about vein treatments, a good place to start is by discussing what they are...and what they’re not.
What It Is Not
Vein treatment is not vein stripping.
Vein stripping is an old-fashioned and not-very-successful way of treating vein conditions that left patients dissatisfied with their results. Patients were assigned to bed rest and recovery was slow. That's not the case with modern treatments.
What It Is
Current vein treatments are tailored to each patient's individual needs. Vein treatment is designed to identify and treat vein reflux by either removing or closing down the abnormally functioning veins and rerouting blood flow to nearby functioning ones. The abnormal veins are then reabsorbed into the body. The current procedure for doing this is called thermal vein ablation (TVA) and can be done in a variety of ways. Treatment typically involves one or more of these three procedures:
1. Thermal (heat-sealed) Ablation
Thermal Ablation can use either laser or electrical (radiofrequency) heat from inside the vein to heat-seal the vein closed. Both are very effective and widely used. Comparing the two, the laser treatment option has a higher success rate in vein closure while radiofrequency has less bruising and tenderness during recovery.
2. Sclerotherapy (Chemical Ablation)
Sclerotherapy uses a chemical treatment to close off smaller varicose veins. A numbing spray is used for comfort, and the vein is injected with a solution that seals it off.
In a micro-phlebectomy, the skin is numbed with a numbing spray and micro-incisions are used to remove the veins. Micro-phlebectomy is invisible when healed and easy to tolerate. Then, because the vein is now gone, people recover rapidly and are able to resume normal activities the next day. The major advantage of micro-phlebectomy is more rapid recovery from vein removal and a regular healthy-looking leg in one month for most.
What Happens During Treatment?
You’ll be in the clinic for just over an hour, and the treatments themselves only take about 15-20 minutes. For comfort, your leg will be numbed. Because treatment is so well tolerated, you can expect to watch a video, listen to music, and carry on a nice conversation with the staff. Most patients catch up on social media or play a game on their smartphone during the procedure.
What Happens After Treatment?
When the treatment is over, patients will need to wear compression stockings during the day for about a week to make sure the vein seals off. Our staff will help you get your compression stockings on and answer any questions about your post-treatment care. Most people are able to go back to their normal routine of work, chores, or playing with kids or grandkids right away.
A routine check-up ultrasound in a week will confirm that the vein is sealed. Though rare, some patients are concerned about blood clots, so to reassure them, we routinely check for those as well.
The treatments seal the veins off, and they will then naturally be reabsorbed back into the body over a period of a few weeks and months. The process relies on the body's natural healing response, as it continually produces new veins all the time anyway. Your body continues to make new veins every year for the rest of your life. There may be some tenderness where the vein is being reabsorbed by the body, but it shouldn’t limit your activities. As bad veins disappear, good new veins form and patients begin to notice an improvement in vein symptoms and an increase in energy shortly after treatment.
To find out if vein treatment can improve your quality of life, contact us for a free initial screening. Our team will look for indicators of vein reflux and, if present, assist you in moving forward with treatment.