Varicose veins are large red, blue, or purple blood vessels that are visible under your skin. They most often appear on your legs, although they can occur elsewhere. The veins start to form lumps under your skin as they worsen.
Varicose veins are a consequence of having faulty valves inside your blood vessels. These valves regulate blood flow, allowing it to travel back to your heart and stop it from going the wrong way.
If the valves get weak, they don't close properly. Your blood can leak back in the wrong direction and start to pool in places between the faulty valves. It's the pooled blood that makes your veins so prominent and unsightly.
Varicose veins might not cause any real problems to begin with, other than being unsightly. As they worsen, you might start to experience symptoms like:
Longer-term, varicose veins could develop into more serious problems, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and venous ulcers.
The Goodlife Physical Medicine team uses cutting edge varicose vein treatments, including:
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive alternative to the traditional method of stripping varicose veins surgically. Your provider at Goodlife Physical Medicine inserts a small radiofrequency catheter (tube) into the affected vein, where it delivers radiofrequency pulses to the vein wall.
The radiofrequency energy causes the vein to collapse and seals it off. Afterward, your blood travels through other healthy veins, and the treated vein eventually disappears.
Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure that takes around an hour to complete. You can usually return to your normal activities the following day.
Endovenous laser treatment (ELVT) is a similar procedure to radiofrequency ablation. It uses light energy to treat the greater saphenous veins in your legs. To perform EVLT, your provider inserts a hollow needle into the varicose vein, followed by a laser catheter.
The laser heats the walls of the target vein, coagulating the blood inside and collapsing the vein. You should see an improvement after 2-6 weeks, but sometimes it takes several months to achieve the optimal effect. You might also need to repeat your EVLT treatment.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting the affected veins with a solution called a sclerosant, which causes them to collapse. Your body then slowly absorbs the treated veins into your bloodstream. Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure that takes about an hour.
Microphlebectomy is suitable for treating large varicose veins where other treatments aren't appropriate. In this minimally invasive procedure, your provider uses a specialized hook to remove the varicose vein through tiny incisions.
To learn more about the treatment of varicose veins, call Goodlife Physical Medicine or book an appointment online today.