Varicose Vein Symptoms
Symptoms of varicose veins can include: aching, fatigue, heaviness, burning, throbbing, itching, cramping, ankle swelling, and ulceration. The causes of varicose veins include heredity, pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing and hormonal influences. The severity of venous disease, which includes varicose veins, tends to escalate over time with the increase in size or number of veins, worsening symptoms, or any combination of these issues.
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Varicose Vein Treatment Options
Treatments for vein problems have progressed dramatically over the past several years. Dr. Miller uses only state-of-the-art technology for minimally invasive treatments to eliminate problematic veins. These include: Venefit procedure (VNUS Closure-RF), VenaSeal™, Varithena®, microincisional phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy with and without ultrasound guidance. These procedures are performed in the office under local anesthesia, with minimal to no discomfort, and will help with the symptoms and appearance of varicose veins. The type of treatment you require will be determined after a full evaluation by Dr. Miller and our experienced nurses.
We use the following varicose vein treatments:
Previously called VNUS Closure, this technique uses a special radiofrequency (RF) catheter that is inserted through a single, small incision (about 1/8 inch) in one of the main superficial veins responsible for your varicose veins. The radiofrequency technology damages the inner wall of the vein, causing the vein to collapse and seal shut. Because there is “heat” delivered throughout the vein, the entire length of the treated vein is anesthetized with numbing medicine through several small injections.
VenaSeal™ is a minimally invasive treatment for the main superficial veins that are usually the cause of varicose veins. A small catheter (tube) is inserted through a fine incision (about 1/8 inch) to deliver a medical adhesive (or glue), thereby sealing the vein. This technique does not use thermal energy (such as radiofrequency or laser); therefore, the only local anesthetic required is at the catheter insertion site.
Varithena® is a non-surgical treatment option that is carried out by injecting a commercially prepared foam made from a sclerosing agent called Polidocanol. This is typically performed under ultrasound guidance, with local anesthetic medicine at the injection site. The medicine is injected directly into the diseased vein(s) and causes it to safely collapse, allowing blood to flow in the healthy veins around it. This treatment is particularly useful when some of the responsible or diseased veins are too tortuous or scarred down to allow any of the catheter techniques.
Microphlebectomy, performed under local anesthesia, involves the removal of bulging varicose veins through several small incisions. Usually this procedure does not require stitches and the incisions (approximately 1/8-inch) are barely visible once the healing process is complete. Patients can walk out of the office after the treatment and resume normal activities within 48 to 72 hours.
Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy/ Endovenous Chemical Ablation
This technique is used to treat varicose veins that are directly below the skin’s surface. Consequently, there is no need for any incision. An FDA-approved medication is injected into the diseased veins using an ultrasound to guide the placement. This ensures that the medication gets placed accurately into the vein. It usually requires no anesthesia or sedation and you may resume normal activities immediately afterwards.
Prescription strength compression stockings are the most conservative way to treat vein disease. Compression stockings will help lessen the symptoms caused by varicose veins, but they do not treat the underlying problem. These stockings must be worn on a daily basis since they do not eliminate the source of the problem in a definitive manner. Most insurance companies are now requiring a trial of compression stockings before considering the coverage of any procedure for varicose veins.
Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page, or call 603-898-3461 to set up a consultation with Dr. Miller today!
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