When most people think of varicose veins, they visualize dark, twisted blue-colored veins bulging through the skin. Though these are cosmetic annoyances, they can also be a sign of a more serious chronic venous disease, causing a host of symptoms, including pain. The question is—how do you get rid of them? We here at Premier Dermatology of Atlanta, GA take this situation seriously.
4 Proven Treatments to Eradicate Varicose Veins
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
EVLA is minimally invasive with a 99% success rate. The term endovenous indicates that the work to be done takes place inside of the vein. An ultrasound device is utilized to identify and mark the veins to be treated. Once the veins have been marked, a local anesthetic such as lidocaine is used for numbing. A small incision is made for insertion of a needle, where an additional local anesthetic is applied around the vein.
This needle is then utilized for the insertion of a laser light, which is encapsulated by a fiber tube and slid into the vein itself. Once inside the vein, the laser light is turned on and the heat from the light seals the vein shut. The fiber tube is then pulled out slowly and gently, as the light continues to seal off the entire section of the malfunctioning vein.
Once the fiber tube and laser light have been completely removed and the vein is sealed off, a small bandage is placed over the incision area. This is a quick treatment, taking only about 20-30 minutes per leg, depending on the number of veins treated. Most people can return to their regular daily routine following this treatment.
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
This treatment is also minimally invasive and can be completed in a short time using local anesthetic in the office. An ultrasound device is used for this treatment as well, guiding the needle to the damaged vein.
A sclerosing foaming agent is injected into the vein. Being that this foam is thicker than liquid, it resides inside the vein longer, effectively collapsing and closing off the vein so that the blood supply can be redirected to healthier veins. This treatment is ideal for small-to-medium-sized varicose veins, which tend to bulge and twist more, making it difficult for insertion of a fiber tube with laser light.
The closed-off veins will eventually disappear and be absorbed by the body over time, without complications. Compression socks are recommended for several weeks, following this treatment. Most patients are able to return to their work or daily routines after leaving the clinic.
This treatment is a minimally invasive minor surgery that is ideal for excision (removal) of bulging veins that lie just below the surface of the skin, shallow veins, or veins that may be located over a hard or bony area. Sometimes it can follow another treatment, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or foam sclerotherapy, that may have left a small residual vein intact just below the surface of the skin.
A local anesthetic is used for the area of the small incision to be made. After the damaged vein is tied off, a small scalpel or needle is then utilized for the excision of the varicose vein.
Once the vein has been removed, a small bandage is placed over the area of the incision. Compression socks are required for several weeks following treatment, to prevent any swelling or bruising. Most patients can return to work within 24 hours, following treatment.
Sclerotherapy is used more for cosmetic reasons and usually preferred for the removal of smaller spider veins, or following treatment of any larger veins. A local anesthetic is not required for this treatment. A sclerosing chemical irritant is injected directly into the spider veins, causing scar tissue to build up, blocking the blood flow. Once the vein has completely collapsed, the blood flow will be redirected to the surrounding healthier veins.
The sclerosing irritant agent usually consists of a liquid when smaller spider veins are involved. However, a foaming agent is preferred for larger veins. While one dose will usually collapse most veins, a second dose may be required to fully collapse larger veins.
This treatment is best used for milder cases of spider or small varicose veins, whereas, other treatments would be a better choice for more severe cases. There is no recovery time for this treatment and patients can return to work or their daily routine after leaving the clinic. The small spider veins usually take approximately 1-2 weeks to completely vanish, though some may take up to a full month.
Is Treatment Necessary?
This answer will vary with most individuals, as some are bothered by varicose veins more than others. The most important factor to consider is the severity of the venous disease and the extent of the damage—or in some cases, the cosmetic effects. Many are invisible, however, and hide far beneath the visible layer of the skin. For optimal venous health, it is recommended to have a venous specialist to assess the situation.
Get Rid of Your Painful, Bulging Veins Today!
If you have been living with embarrassing spider veins or suffering from bulging, painful varicose veins—suffer no more! Contact the experts at Premier Dermatology of Atlanta, GA today. Let us show you how simple and safe the latest up-to-date treatments are, for malfunctioning veins.