What are Varicose veins?
Varicose veins are a very common problem, generally appearing as twisting, bulging rope-like cords on the legs, anywhere from groin to ankle. While many people have heard of varicose veins, very few truly understand their underlying cause, and the potential they have for developing into a serious medical issue. Severe varicose veins can compromise the nutrition of the skin and lead to eczema, inflammation or even ulceration of the lower leg.
Veins and arteries, while both part of the circulatory system, function quite differently from each other. “Poor circulation” is a nonspecific term which often refers to arterial blockages. Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the extremities and can be thought of like a tube or hose. Veins, unlike arteries, have one-way valves and channel oxygen-depleted blood back toward the heart. If the valves of the veins don’t function well, blood doesn’t flow efficiently. The veins become enlarged because they are congested with blood. These enlarged veins are commonly called spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are small red, blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are larger distended veins that are located somewhat deeper than spider veins.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency:
- pain in the legs
- feelings of fatigue
- restlessness of the legs
- leg swelling
Vein disorders are not always visible; diagnostic techniques are important tools in determining the cause and severity of the problem. In addition to a physical examination, non-invasive ultrasound is often used.
What causes varicose veins?
Factors leading to varicose veins include heredity, gender, pregnancy, age and other factors. Some factors may speed up the development of this disease and make the veins worse, including prolonged standing, obesity, hormone levels, and physical trauma.
Women are more likely to suffer from abnormal leg veins. Up to 50% of American women may be affected. Hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone affect the disease. It is very common for pregnant women to develop varicose veins during the first trimester. Pregnancy causes increases in hormone levels and blood volume which in turn cause veins to enlarge. In addition, the enlarged uterus causes increased pressure on the veins. Varicose veins due to pregnancy often improve within 3 months after delivery. However, with successive pregnancies, abnormal veins are more likely to remain.
Preparation and Special Instructions
Preparation and special instructions will be discussed at your FREE consultation. Please call 863-577-0269 for your appointment.
What to expect from the procedure – EVLT (Endovascular Laser Treatment)
The radiologist will apply a local anesthetic to the area of interest, and then insert a very small tube called a catheter into the vein. Once inside, the catheter sends out radiofrequency or laser energy that shrinks and seals the vein wall. Healthy veins around the closed vein restore the normal f low of blood. As this happens, symptoms from the varicose vein improve. Veins on the surface of the skin that are connected to the treated varicose vein will also usually shrink after treatment. Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged. Normal daily activity can be resumed; just avoid rigorous activities such as gym workouts.
There may be minor soreness and bruising. Any discomfort can be treated with over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers as necessary.
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, the procedure does not require a surgical incision, just a nick in the skin, about the size of a pencil tip, there are no scars or stitches.
- Many insurance carriers cover the Endovascular Laser Treatment, based on medical necessity for symptom relief.