At Vena, we offer several non-surgical, minimally invasive options for varicose vein removal. A patient may require just one of the treatment options or may require a combination of the treatments options discussed below. During the consultation our Milwaukee varicose vein experts will go over the affected area and decide which procedure is best for you. We are with you every step of the way to ensure you get the results you want.
In the past, if one of the major superficial venous structures such as the great or small saphenous vein or one of their major branch tributaries was found to be abnormally dilated with associated pathological reflux, the treatment was primarily limited to surgical ligation and stripping. This is an invasive, debilitating, painful procedure that often resulted in six or more weeks out of work or downtime from other activities.
Today the treatment of choice for reflux of abnormal major superficial venous structures is Endovenous Laser or Radiorequency Ablation. Both of these procedures are routinely performed at Vena.
Ultrasound is utilized to find the lower portion of the abnormal vein in the thigh or calf region. After the skin is anesthetized, again using ultrasound, a needle is inserted into the abnormal vein. A thin guide wire is passed up the vein into the higher part of the leg. At that point, a thin catheter for laser or radiofrequency device is guided using ultrasound into the upper portion of the leg and positioned at the origin of the vessel to be treated. Tumescent fluid (anesthetic fluid) is infiltrated into the tissues around the length of the vessel that is to be treated. At that point, either laser or the radiofrequency device is activated. Each of these devices in a different way generates heat around the tip of the device. The heat that is generated injures the wall of the vein. While watching under ultrasound, the laser or radiofrequency device is withdrawn from the upper to the lower portion of the leg where it was original introduced, essentially cauterizing the length of the vessel.
You will be consious/awake for your treatment. However, a sadative and pain medication can be given to you to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Following the procedure, you will need to wear medical grade compression stockings to help reduce bruising, tenderness and to minimize the rare possibility of the formation of a blood clot. At the end of the procedure, you will walk out normally from the procedure room to meet your family and/or friends who will escort you home.
You can resume normal or near-normal activities often immediately and usually return to work in a day or two at most. You will be asked to refrain from air travel and long periods of sitting as can occur on a car trip in the immediate post procedural period. You will be asked to wear your compression stockings for up to a week and your normal exercise regimen may be modified for a week or two at most.
The number of endovenous treatments that you will need will depend on the severity of your varicose vein disease and whether one or both legs are involved.
Laser ablation therapy used to treat varicose and spider veins can have some mild side effects. The heat from the lasers may scar your skin in the area around the treatment site. Discoloration of the skin is also a possible side effect. However, the discoloration is not permanent, and will subside after approximately 6 months. The coloring comes from displaced blood cells caused by the destruction of the affected veins, and disappears because the body effectively reabsorbs the material into its composition.
With any of these vein procedures, there is the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) is a worrisome affliction. It can lead to strokes, heart attacks and other complications. This is a rare side effect, and special measures are taken to prevent clots from happening.
If you have large bulging veins, you may be in need of additional treatment. For these bulging veins we may elect to perform a procedure known as microphlebectomy. During this treatment, local anesthetic (lidocaine with and without tumescent solution) is utilized to infiltrate the tissues along the entire course of the bulging veins. Small 1-2 mm puncture marks are made along the length of the bulging vein. A special hook-like instrument is then utilized to pull the bulging vein to the surface of the skin where it is then removed. The procedure is safe and generally causes minimal discomfort.
Microphlebectomy is completed as an outpatient procedure and recovery time is considered rapid. The procedure is minimally invasive, allowing patients to continue their everyday routines after the hour long procedure is completed. If the vein removed was causing pain before the procedure, then there will be immediate relief upon completion of the Microphlebectomy.
Common Side Effects:
Microphlebectomies, like any surgical operation can lead to unwanted side effects. Thanks to our expert care, nearly all risks are avoided. After undergoing a microphlebectomy procedure, you may experience pain in the treated area, discoloration, infection, swelling, bleeding, an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic, and possibly small patches of numbness surrounding the operative procedure site. As with any procedure to remove varicose veins, the removed veins will not come back. However, new varicose veins may form
For those smaller veins (including spider veins) that are visible to the naked eye, Sclerotherapy is performed. This treatment usually takes about 30 minutes or less and consists of a series of small injections which are made directly into the vein. The fluid that is injected is referred to as a sclerosing agent, and chemically is basically a detergent substance. The number of sclerotherapy treatment needed will depend on the severity of the problem.
The Sclerotherapy solution is injected into the vein, causing it to scar and collapse. Once the vein collapses the body will absorb it into local tissue within a couple of weeks. With the varicose vein absorbed, the coloring will be completely gone from the affected area. The blood flow from the newly collapsed vein will simply get rerouted into a deeper vein in the leg, leading to no complications or blood flow loss.
Common Side Effects:
The most common side effects associated with sclerotherapy include a darkening of the skin around the treatment site, turning your skin red or brown. This phenomenon is called hyperpigmentation, and is caused by the redistribution of the dead blood cells once the spider or varicose vein is destroyed. Your body will reabsorb the cells after a period of approximately 6 months, depending on the patient’s age and health.
It is also common for spider veins to reappear near the treatment area. This is because varicose veins are a progressive problem and worsen with time. Getting rid of the existing spider veins does not prevent others from appearing; it only treats the spider veins present at the time of treatment. However, these newly formed varicose veins typically disappear within 6 months.
A patient should not undergo sclerotherapy if they are afflicted by any of these preclusions: obesity, non-ambulatory status, pregnancy, allergy to the injected solution, or preexisting blood clots.
One in three people will be affected by varicose veins during their lives. When thinking about getting any procedure done, it is important to look at it from every perspective – including being informed of all associated risks and side effects of available treatment options. With several treatments offered at Vena Varicose Vein Institute, it’s important to find the most effective treatment for your condition. Different types of varicose veins will react differently to different treatment options. There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to varicose veins.
Varicose veins are caused by valves not functioning properly, when your blood doesn’t circulate properly. This creates a pooling effect, causing the vein to enlarge. It’s important to note, varicose veins are not harmful to your body and are not dangerous to your health in anyway.
Varicose veins is a condition which will not heal itself, and will get worse over time if left untreated. Some factors which play a role in deciding which procedure is best for you are things like age, allergies and your medical history, among others. Our specialists are here to discuss the cost of every option and the aftercare needed to heal safely and quickly.