Over the past decade, there have been major advances in the way venous disease is diagnosed and treated. If you are one of the 50 million Americans with varicose or spider veins, it is now easier than ever to receive minimally invasive, in-office treatments that will allow you to have a happier, healthier life. And in order for your legs to be treated and fully recovered in time for summer (so you can show them off, of course), winter and early spring are the perfect times to get started. Gone are the days of hospital-based procedures, prolonged recovery times and painful stripping operations.
Unfortunately, many patients and physicians are still unaware that simple options are available to eliminate unsightly and painful varicose and spider veins, and that many of these options are fully covered by their insurance carriers.
Spider veins are very small veins that are evident on the surface of the skin as red or blue dilated veins. They tend to start off small, but as time and gravity become a factor, they often become enlarged and increase in number over time.
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins, often-dark blue in color, near or raised above the surface of the skin. They are often a symptom of an underlying condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Recognizing these symptoms is the first key step to accurately diagnosing your patient?s vein problems.
Here are 7 Signs and Symptoms of CVI:?
- Visible bulgy veins on the leg. This is the simplest test. If you can see them, then you have them.
- Leg pain or discomfort. Complaints of leg heaviness, pain, itching, or cramps, especially after prolonged sitting or standing.
- Tired or heavy legs. Signs of fatigue after moderate amounts of activity.
- Legs that swell. Swelling that tends to worsen as the day goes by.
- Discoloration or scarring of the skin. This includes darker areas of skin or redness in the area just above the ankle. This typically results from blood getting backed up in the veins and leaking out into the skin.
- Open wounds or ulcers along your lower legs or ankles. This occurs after experiencing a long period of skin discoloration and is referred to as a venous stasis ulcer. The treatments offered for varicose veins are also very effective in healing and preventing recurrent ulcers.
- Restless legs or leg cramps. An irresistible need to move ones legs in order to alleviate an uncomfortable feeling of itching and/or aching of the legs at night. Patients with varicose veins who also suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) often obtain excellent results in solving both problems once their veins are addressed.
New, More-Effective Vein Treatments
When it comes to treating spider veins, it is now possible to obtain excellent results using sclerotherapy solutions specifically developed for this problem. Previously, hypertonic saline injections were the mainstay of treatment. These injections typically provided only a temporary fix, but also caused significant pain and burning during the injection. The good news is that the new medications used for sclerotherapysuch as Asclera and Sotradecolin liquid and foam suspension are less painful, more effective, and produce superior long-term results.
A modern varicose vein treatment, such as an Endovenous Laser Ablation, offers patients a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in the office under local anesthesia. This technique is effective because it seals off the malfunctioning vein, eliminating the problem at its source. The damaged vein is sealed shut and is subsequently absorbed by the body. Blood is then simply re-routed to healthier veins.
Treatment Success Rate
After only 3-5 sessions, patients typically experience a 90 percent clearance of their visible spider veins. Following initial varicose vein treatments, patients can expect to have a 90-95 percent chance of being free of bulging veins for the rest of their life.
At the conclusion of these treatments, patients should be able to immediately resume most of their normal activities, and within one week, they may resume more vigorous exercising.