Varicose Vein Treatment

Do you dread wearing shorts because your legs look like a road map? Do your painful varicose veins prevent you from enjoying your favorite activities? Our vein specialists provide a full range of treatment options. Look better. Feel better. Peoria Vein Center.

Vnus Closure

Some people hesitate to have their varicose veins evaluated and treated because they are concerned about the pain involved, recovery times, possible scarring and the expense. Fortunately, many of those concerns can be alleviated for most people.

One of the most innovative treatments available to treat varicose veins is the minimally invasive VNUS Closure procedure*. Not only are pain and scarring minimized, but recovery times are typically much faster. Patients usually walk out the door shortly after the surgery. In fact, 98% of VNUS Closure patients would recommend the treatment to a friend or family member with similar leg vein problems. As far as the cost is concerned, if an individual has varicose veins severe enough to need surgical treatment, it is usually considered to be a medical condition – in many cases, this means that Medicare or insurance will cover the cost.

VNUS Closure is a minimally invasive procedure that uses RF ablation to heat and shrink the vein in a controlled manner. Once the area is numb, a thin catheter (a tube even smaller than a coffee stirrer) is threaded into the damaged or diseased vein using a single needle stick. Proper placement of the catheter is assisted by the use of duplex ultrasound (similar to that which is used for obstetrical ultrasounds). The catheter delivers radiofrequency or microwave energy to the vein wall. This causes the vein to heat up, collapse and seal shut.

After the diseased vein is closed, nearby healthy veins take over and empty the blood from your legs. Once normal blood flow is re-established, symptoms quickly improve. The procedure is less painful than some options and usually leaves the patient with little (if any) bruising, scarring or swelling. In addition, most patients can return to normal activities almost immediately.

This is just one of many options available to patients today. Fortunately, the vascular specialists of Peoria Vein Center are experienced in many different procedures and can recommend the most appropriate treatment for each patient.

Individuals that have a pacemaker, internal defibrillator or other active implanted device should have the vascular surgeon consult with the patient’s cardiologist and the implant’s manufacturer to determine if this procedure is a safe course of action.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is typically used to treat spider veins or small varicose veins.* During this procedure, a solution is injected into the vein using tiny needles. This solution (sclerosant) causes damage to the inside of the vein, which causes the vein to close. In time, the vein is absorbed into the body.

The procedure usually takes place in our comfortable Vein Center facility using a local anesthetic. Using a series of tiny injections, a saline solution or other solution is injected into the vein. Or, in some cases, a tiny catheter may be inserted into the vein to allow the use of a foam sclerosant – if a catheter and foam are used, they will be guided by the use of duplex ultrasound. Some patients experience a feeling of minor burning and discomfort during the procedure. Repeat injections may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

Depending on the size and number of veins being treated, the procedure is usually completed in 5 to 30 minutes. Before leaving the office, patients put on medical-grade compression stockings or elastic bandages as directed by their physician. Most patients are able to walk immediately after the procedure, but should refrain from strenuous exercise for approximately one week after treatment.

Topical Laser Treatment

Topical Laser Treatment is usually the best option to minimize or eliminate tiny spider veins of the legs.* More women than men get spider veins, especially women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.

This a cosmetic issue that is treated with a laser carefully focused on the problem areas. The tiny spider veins coagulate and shrink. Most patients notice an improvement in about a month. Typically, the main side effects are bruising and skin discoloration.

Mini-phlebectomy

A mini-phlebectomy is an in-office procedure which is performed under local anesthesia. The procedure removes bulging varicose veins through very small incisions that usually require no stitches and virtually leave no scars. A mini-phlebectomy is used for the veins that are too large to be closed down with sclerotherapy.

Usually, this procedure is very well tolerated and causes only minor discomfort while providing excellent cosmetic results. A patient can return to his /her daily activities (except for vigorous exercises) immediately following the procedure. A mini-phlebectomy is often performed in conjunction with a Laser Treatment.

Vein Ligation

Vein Ligation is a procedure that has been used for many years to eliminate larger varicose veins. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using regional or general anesthesia – most patients are able to go home later in the day. Typically, individuals are able to return to work in a few days (depending on their occupation), and get back to recreational activities in a few weeks.

During the procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions over the diseased vein and it is tied off (ligated). This option usually offers good long-term results, but can leave some scarring where the incisions were made.

Although vein ligation can be performed for cosmetic reasons, it is usually done for patients that have large, bleeding, problematic (aching, swelling) or damaged veins; or open sores resulting from varicose veins. In some cases, sclerotherapy is recommended as a follow-up to vein ligation to treat smaller varicose veins.

A qualified vascular surgeon can help determine the best procedure for each individual’s varicose veins. However, in general, the following people are not appropriate candidates for vein ligation:

  • Pregnant women (although pregnancy can aggravate varicose veins, they should not be treated during pregnancy)
  • Older adults with medical conditions that predispose them to risks associated with surgery
  • Individuals with poor circulation in the arteries of the legs
  • Those that have lymphedema, skin infections or blood clotting disorders

Vein Stripping

Vein Stripping continues to be an effective option for removing damaged varicose veins. When performed by a qualified vascular surgeon, it typically eliminates the diseased vein and improves symptoms.

Using regional or general anesthesia, this procedure is done on an outpatient basis. During the surgery, the physician makes several small incisions – one at the groin, one at the knee and possibly a few others over the diseased vein. A special instrument is used to grasp the vein and pull it out. Blood then automatically reroutes to nearby healthy veins.

This treatment option can be moderately painful and requires a recovery period of 5-10 days. However, it is a procedure that has been performed for many years and is usually effective.

Some patients have expressed concern that they may need this vein as a graft for a heart bypass operation in the future. Because the vein is diseased, it would not serve as an adequate graft anyway. Therefore, it is important to remove the bad vein and resolve the problems it causes.

Like vein ligation, stripping can be performed for cosmetic reasons, it is usually done for patients that have large, bleeding, problematic (aching, swelling) or damaged veins; or open sores resulting from varicose veins. In some cases, sclerotherapy is recommended as a follow-up to vein ligation to treat smaller varicose veins.

An experienced vascular surgeon can help determine the best procedure for each individual’s varicose veins. However, in general, the following people are not appropriate candidates for vein stripping:

  • Pregnant women (although pregnancy can aggravate varicose veins, they should not be treated during pregnancy)
  • Older adults with medical conditions that predispose them to risks associated with surgery
  • Individuals with poor circulation in the arteries of the legs
  • Those that have lymphedema, skin infections or blood clotting disorders

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