Varicose veins have been around for a long time; the writings of Hippocrates (the “father of modern medicine”) include strategies like wrapping tight bandages around the legs to treat this condition. Tri-City Cardiology Consultants still uses this technique, but we also have a lot more modern strategies for treating varicose veins.
All About Varicose Veins
With each heartbeat, blood flows through the body into arteries, which carry blood to the body tissues. On the return journey, the blood flows through veins. Since the force of the blood flow is lower on the return journey, tiny flaps of tissue called valves help prevent it from flowing backwards between heartbeats. When the valves become weak or damaged, this sets the stage for varicose veins.
Who Treats Varicose Veins?
At one time, surgically removing the varicose veins was the most common treatment; and that procedure is still used by surgeons today. But interventional radiologists and cardiologists are now more likely to treat varicose veins, as many of the procedures can be done in an office environment with special imaging (X-ray) procedures. These more modern techniques include procedures like endovenous laser ablation, (EVLA), micro-phlebectomy, ultrasound guided chemical ablation and sclerotherapy.
Varicose Vein Treatment Advantages
Modern varicose vein treatments have a number of advantages. First, they can be performed in a doctor’s office or clinic with local anesthesia. Second, the healing time is much shorter than it would be if a surgical procedure was used. Most patients can resume their normal activities within 24 hours or so. The healing time is also much less, as there is little tissue trauma. Scarring with modern varicose vein treatments is minimal.
About Varicose Vein Treatments
The treatment chosen depends on factors like the size of the vein and the patient’s medical history. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) closes the vein from the inside with a tiny laser. Micro-phlebectomy is a modification on the original surgical technique; the doctor makes a cut on the vein surface and pulls the vein out in small pieces. With ultrasound guided chemical ablation, a special chemical is injected into the vein, and the leg is tightly wrapped to make the vein collapse and seal itself shut.
After Treatment Care
Treating one or more varicose veins solves that problem, but new varicose veins can appear. Once you’ve completed treatment, it’s important to prevent new varicose veins. Obesity can contribute to the problem, so it helps to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise helps get the blood back to the heart. It’s important to avoid sitting or standing for long periods; don’t cross your legs when sitting. Support stockings or special prescription compression hose can help prevent new varicose veins and make you more comfortable.
Tri-City Cardiology Consultants owes a lot to Hippocrates, but in today’s world, we can also offer a lot more to our patients. Contact us today for questions about varicose veins or to schedule an appointment. Our 22 board-certified physicians offer services at multiple locations for your convenience.