Varicose veins are large, distended veins that appear on the surface of your legs. In the U.S., roughly half of all adults age 50 and older suffer from varicose veins. These veins are more than a cosmetic concern; they often cause great discomfort, pain, itching, aching, and cramping in the legs.
What causes varicose veins? Learn More Close
Veins carry blood from the legs back to the heart. There are one-way valves in the veins that close off and prevent gravity from pushing the blood flow back down the leg. When the valves in the leg veins become weakened or damaged, blood can "reflux" back into the leg veins and collect there. Over time, the veins will distend, forming varicose veins.
Am I at risk for varicose veins? Learn More Close
The most common risks associated with varicose veins are the following:
- Family medical history
- Professions that require long periods of standing
- Advanced age
- Hormonal changes that result from pregnancy, puberty, and menopause
- Birth control medications
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- History of blood clots
How are varicose veins diagnosed? Learn More Close
Varicose veins are diagnosed during a physical exam. If there are additional symptoms such as aching, heaviness, or swelling, an ultrasound scan may be ordered which is used to evaluate the presence of venous reflux, or leaky valves.
How are varicose veins treated? Learn More Close
Varicose veins are first treated through conservative measures, which include compression stockings, leg elevation, and exercise. if these do not resolve the symptoms, then there are a variety of different ways that varicose veins and venous reflux are treated. Vanguard Vascular & Vein strives to offer the latest and most cutting-edge technology to treat this disabling problem.
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) Learn More Close
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is a technique where laser energy is delivered into the vein via a small laser fiber. This in turn caused the vein to be sealed. EVLA is performed under local anesthesia in the office. This is an outpatient procedure which means you can resume your normal activities almost immediately. Recovery time is very minimal.
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (EVRFA) Learn More Close
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation (EVRFA) is another technique for deliver heat energy int a refluxing vein for purposes of sealing off the vein. It is very similar to Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) in that a small catheter is inserted into the vein, and then under ultrasound guidance, heat energy is then delivered into the vein to cause the vein to close. Like EVLA, EVRFA is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthetic.
Endovenous Mechanicochemical Ablation (MOCA) Learn More Close
Endovenous mechanicochemical ablation (MOCA) is a technology that combines two different methods to seal off veins. First, it mechanically irritates the inside of the vein through a rotating wire at the end of the device. Secondly, an infusion of a sclerosant (a solution that irritates the vein and causes it to close) is injected through the tip of the catheter as it is slowly withdrawn.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy Learn More Close
Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a surgical technique that employs a series of small incisions to remove varicose veins. it is a minimally invasive option that is carried out in the office with a local anesthetic. Ambulatory Phlebectomy may be performed together with vein ablations or sclerotherapy, depending on how much vein there is to remove. Most individuals are able to return to their daily routine soon after the procedure, as downtime is very minimal. This results in excellent clinical and cosmetic results.
Transilluminated power phlebectomy (TIPP or Trivex) Learn More Close
Transilluminated power phlebectomy (TIPP or Trivex) is a minimally invasive way to remove a large amount of varicose veins in a short amount of time. The Trivex procedure uses a thin lighted wand inserts under the skin to illuminate the veins, while a second minimally invasive instrument is used to remove the problem vein. It is ideal for large clusters of varicose veins. It is performed at a hospital as an outpatient procedure. Downtime is minimal. This also results in excellent cosmetic results.
How can I prevent varicose veins? Learn More Close
While you may not be able to avoid varicose veins completely, especially if you have a family history, you should rest your legs frequently when you are required to stand for long periods of time. Physical activity, including regular exercise, helps your body circulate your blood efficiently. Wearing compression stockings can also be preventative.