Surgery or minimally invasive methods:
Are you searching for suitable treatment options for varicose veins? This article will help you understand the options that are currently available which are proven to be effective. The top treatment options for varicose veins are surgery or minimally invasive treatments. Both procedures have the goal of closing off the deceased veins or removing them altogether so that blood can be redirected to healthier veins.
Surgery was the only option for people suffering from varicose veins until recently. During the procedure, an incision is made to find the damaged veins which are then tied off (ligated), and those deceased veins that are near the surface of the skin are removed (stripped). The procedure usually takes around two hours to complete.
Studies have reported that in nearly 50% of cases after the surgical procedure, varicose veins are found to recur within 5 years. Like any surgical procedure, vein surgery is also associated with the risk of bleeding, scarring, pain, infection, and chances of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
Nowadays, lesser invasive techniques exist which are performed as outpatient procedures and are proved to be highly effective. The procedures are performed by trained interventional radiologists using imaging techniques such as Doppler ultrasound. Keen to know more, then read on…
What is sclerotherapy?
It is a minimally invasive technique to destroy the varicose veins by injecting a solution called sclerosant, which damages the internal lining of the damaged veins and seals them off. The new veins that develop tend to be problem free as the root cause is attended to.
During foam sclerotherapy, local anesthesia is administered through the needles that are placed into the veins. A foam solution in small volumes will be injected into the needles. Foam attaches like glue to the vein walls. It causes intense spasm of the veins, but the patients feel only a slight sting during the foam injection. Process will be repeated a few times.
The needles are removed, and sponge, gauze and compression bandages are applied to the treated veins. Doctors generally recommend wearing compression stockings and bandages for few days or weeks after the procedure.
What is Endovenous Laser ablation technique (EVLA)?
Endovenous means “inside the veins” and ablation means “to destroy.” It is a minimally invasive procedure that makes use of catheters, lasers, and ultrasound to treat varicose veins.
In this procedure the abnormal veins are heated by laser and destroyed. Catheter or a thin tube is inserted into the varicose vein. Ultrasound is used to see the inside of the patient and the doctor guides the catheter through the vein. When the tip is in the correct position, heat made by a laser fiber is applied to the inside of the vein. Damaged veins collapse and get sealed. Dead tissues gradually get absorbed by the body.
The overall success rate of EVLA is proven to be above 90%, which confirms that EVLA is a highly effective treatment for incompetent veins.
What you should know
- Those with varicose veins may try few tips at home to reduce the symptoms. You can exercise and lose some weight if suggested, prop up your legs when resting, and wear compression stockings. If these are found ineffective in reducing the symptoms, you need to meet a vascular specialist without much delay.
- For very extensive and large varicose veins, doctors recommend surgery or EVLA rather than sclerotherapy, due to its improved and sustained benefits.
- Considering the risks involved, sclerotherapy is not advised if you are diagnosed with any blood clotting disorders.
- Patients are generally advised to remain active as usual following the treatment but will need to avoid strenuous physical activity for few weeks.
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