Varicose veins, which arise due to chronic venous insufficiency, are not simply unsightly; they can also cause pain and discomfort. Symptoms may even arise even without any bulging veins.
Years ago, patients underwent a surgery known as vein stripping for varicose vein removal. This has been largely replaced by safer and less invasive varicose vein removal treatments that require no significant amount of downtime for recovery. We want our patients to understand their options and help them choose the procedure that is best for their situation.
Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Vein Removal
Radiofrequency ablation destroys the vein through the use of heat. The practitioner uses ultrasound to find the vein and place a catheter (small tube) in the right location. The catheter then generates heat to close down the problematic vein. Most patients experience promising results in a short period of time.
Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy
Endovenous laser ablation therapy works similarly to radiofrequency ablation in that it utilizes an ultrasound to guide the catheter. In this instance, it uses a laser rather than radiofrequency to generate the heat. Once in position, the laser closes down the abnormal vein.
Ultrasound-guided Foam Sclerotherapy
With ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, the vein doctor also utilizes an ultrasound to guide the procedure. After finding the abnormal vein, the doctor injects a special solution known as sclerosant into the problem vein. The foam solution incorporated in this type of sclerotherapy closes problematic smaller veins.
VenaSeal, one of the newest varicose vein removal treatments available, is a proprietary adhesive used to close troublesome superficial veins. It is FDA-approved medical grade product designed to be gentle and minimizes the lidocaine numbing injections when compared to the ablation procedures. In the VenaSeal closure system procedure, the vein doctor uses a catheter to inject the adhesive into the incompetent veins to prevent the blood flowing backward into the vein. The procedure is guided by ultrasound.
Microphlebectomy is used to remove large bulging veins by using tiny incisions after the skin and vein are numb with lidocaine. The incisions are so small that generally they do not require stitches and rarely leave any visible scars. Microphlebectomy is usually done in conjunction with an ablation procedure.
The above procedures provide some of the safest and minimally-invasive varicose vein removal options. Generally, they require little to no downtime, and you often can leave the doctor’s office on the same day and go back to your daily life. Ready to move forward in treating your varicose veins? Sign up for a free vein screening.