Varicose Vein Treatment - Non-Scarring, Minimally Invasive Treatment
ARE UNSIGHTLY AND PAINFUL LEGS KEEPING YOU FROM BEING AS ACTIVE AS YOU’D LIKE?
ENDOVENOUS LASER THERAPY, A NON-SURGICAL, NON-SCARRING TREATMENT MAY HELP.
Varicose veins are a common problem, affecting an estimated 40% of women and 25% of men. While these veins can be unsightly, they can also be more than just a cosmetic issue and have the potential to develop into more serious medical problems.
Varicose veins form when blood vessels become weak and malfunction, and blood can no longer flow easily against gravity. The end result is often bulging veins and leg pain.
Radiologic Associates offers a no-scarring, minimally invasive procedure to resolve varicose veins. Using the most up-to-date procedure available, a small incision is made near the affected vein, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic, and a thin laser fiber is inserted. Using a laser, thermal energy is delivered, causing the problematic vein to close. The whole procedure is usually completed in less than one hour, and most patients can resume their daily activities within hours.
Our results have been excellent, and according to medical research, endovenous laser therapy produces good cosmetic results as well, with a 98% clinical success rate at two years following the procedure.
If you would like more information or want to schedule a consultation, we encourage you to speak with your physician or contact us at 860-585-3424 or schedule an appointment.
View before & After Photos
What Causes Varicose Veins Disease?
Many people think varicose veins are caused by pressure from standing on their
legs too long during work or exercise or that they just develop during old age.
Actually they are caused by a disease in the major leg vein at the top of the leg
called the greater saphenous vein, and can affect people as young as 20. Heredity is the most important factor, followed by gender and age. Women
have a higher incidence of varicose vein disease; because they are more susceptible in part due to female hormones affecting the vein walls, especially during pregnancy when there is also a temporary increase in blood
pressure and volume in the veins. Age is a factor because vein walls loose elasticity, causing the valve system in veins to work less effectively.
Arteries carry blood from your heart out to your extremities, delivering oxygen deep into the tissue. Veins then return the ‘de-oxygenated’ blood (now blue) back to your heart to be re-circulated.
To return this blood to the heart, your leg veins must work against gravity. Small, one-way valves in the veins open to allow blood to flow upward, towards the heart, and then close to prevent it from flowing backwards.
Varicose veins occur when the valves in superficial leg veins malfunction. When this occurs, the valve may be unable to close, allowing blood that should be moving towards the heart to flow backward (called venous reflux). Blood collects in your lower veins causing them to enlarge and become varicose.
There are other factors that are associated with varicose veins that can speed
up the development of this disease and make them worse but do not cause it,
including obesity, prolonged standing, and physical trauma. Patients can
change their lifestyles to address these secondary factors and may be able to
slow down the development of vein reflux disease.
Can varicose veins be prevented?
The underlying conditions described above usually make ‘curing’ varicose veins impossible, however certain measures may help relieve discomfort from existing varicose veins and prevent others from arising:
- Exercise regularly (walking is ideal)
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Avoid sitting for long periods
- Control weight
Since the above measures do not treat the underlying cause of the disease, varicose veins will usually enlarge and worsen over time. Legs and feet may begin to swell and sensations of pain, heaviness, burning or tenderness may occur. If and when this happens, consult your physician immediately.
What are the symptoms? Will they get worse?
In addition to the visual appearance, many patients may experience one or more of the following leg symptoms:
- Pain (an aching or cramping feeling)
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Tender areas around the veins
How Can They be Treated?
In the past people suffering from varicose veins had only one option for
treatment: surgical tying and stripping of the diseased veins.
With recent advances in technology to treat vein disease there is now faster and easier choice for varicose vein sufferers called EVLT® (EndoVenous Laser
Treatment). An innovative non-surgical procedure, EVLT® uses laser
technology to seal the problem vein safely and effectively, thus eliminating the problem at its source.
The Benefits of EVLT
- Treatment in less than an hour.
- Can be performed in the doctor’s office.
- Up to 98% success rate.
- Immediate relief of symptoms.
- Return to normal activity immediately – with little or no pain.
- No general anesthesia or hospitalization.
- No scars.
How does the procedure actually work?
A physician called an interventional radiologist performs the procedure. You may have a topical anesthetic cream over the abnormal vein area before the procedure in order to reduce discomfort.
Your physician will numb the area where a catheter will enter into the abnormal vein with a local anesthetic and using ultrasound guidance, a laser fiber will deliver energy that damages the vein walls, shrinking them closed so that blood can no longer flow thorugh. The leg being treated will be cleaned, sterilized and covered with a surgical drape.
Pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding and the opening in the skin is covered with a bandage. No sutures are needed. This procedure is usually completed within an hour.
click here to watch how EVLT procdeure works
- Relief from swelling, cramps and leg heaviness
- An improvement in general health
- Confidence to “bare” your legs again
- Able to renew activities you enjoy without physical discomfort
- Renewed energy and vigor
- Freedom from wearing uncomfortable and unfashionable compression
- EVLT® cures the problem rather than just slowing its progression
- Significant cosmetic improvements in the appearance of the leg
- No unpleasant compression stockings needed after the first week following treatment
What will I experience during the procedure?
You will be asked to wear protective glasses if and when lasers are in use. The effected area of your leg will be cleaned, shaved and numbed. When the local anesthetic is injected, you will feel a slight pin prick and the area will become numb within a short time.
You may feel slight pressure when the catheter is inserted but no serious discomfort. The injection of local anesthetic around the abnormal vein is the most bothersome part of the procedure. Actual closure of the vein with laser or radiofrequency is usually not painful.
Following the procedure, you will need to wear a gradient compression stocking to help reduce bruising, tenderness, and minimize the rare possibility that blood clots may form.
You may resume your normal activity immediately, with the exception of air travel or prolonged sitting (such as a long car trip). You should remain active and not spend too much time in bed during the recovery period since this increases the chance of complications.
What are the side-effects and complications of this procedure?
EVLT®, like all minimally invasive procedures, can potentially have some slight bruising, which commonly disappears within the first few weeks. With EVLT®, you will feel a delayed tightness (or “pulling” sensation) 4-7 days after laser treatment which is normal and expected following a successful treatment.
All surgical procedures involve some element of risk and have the potential for complications. This should be balanced against the risk of complications if your varicose veins remain untreated. Consult your physician for further information.
VARICOSE VEIN MYTHS
Myth: Varicose vein disease affects only old people
Fact: Varicose vein disease can be genetic, and many younger people – some
in their late 20s – may be affected. Heredity may be the most important factor,
so if your parents and grandparents have the problem you are at increased risk.
Other factors include gender, age, pregnancy, weight gain, physical trauma,
frequently standing too long over a period of years.
Myth: Varicose vein disease affects only women
Fact: Women have a higher incidence of vein reflux disease due in
part to the female hormones affecting the vein walls especially
during pregnancy. But 15–25 percent of men may also develop
varicose vein disease.
Myth: Spider veins = varicose veins
Fact: Though often lumped together, spider veins are very different from
varicose vein disease in terms of cause, appearance and medical implications.
Spider veins are tiny, dilated blood vessels that appear just below the skin’s
surface, typically on the face, neck, chest and legs. Spider veins are very
common, but are mostly a cosmetic.
Myth: People seek cures for varicose vein disease merely because of
Fact: Varicose vein disease can cause swelling and cramps that result in
patients feeling tiredness, heaviness in the leg, as well as pain, aching or
burning sensations. This is a real disease, involving reflux of the greater
saphenous vein, that can have long-term consequences if not treated, including
eczema, pigmentation, skin ulcerations and bleeding.
Before & After Photos