Venous disease is an umbrella term that is used to refer to any number of conditions caused by veins becoming abnormal or diseased. This includes spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and phlebitis. They are the result of high pressure in the veins creating a sluggish blood flow. Venous disease is quite common, with an estimated fifteen percent of the adult population suffering from its affects. However, there is some good news. With recent breakthroughs, there are more treatments available than ever before to help lessen the pain associated with this disease.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment option when dealing with veins that are just below the skin’s surface. In this procedure, a small needle is used to supply a sclerosing agent into the vein. This medicine will cause the vein to become sticky and seal itself shut. Then, the vein will disappear and the blood will find an alternative, healthy route to the heart. This treatment can be performed with the assistance of light or ultrasound as well. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy is reserved just for veins that are leaking and cannot be seen with light though. These procedures are relatively safe, but they are not guaranteed to be free of complications.
Another option is an ambulatory pblebectomy, which is a minimally invasive and typically out-patient procedure. It is used for varicose veins that are too large for treatment through sclerotherapy. This procedure involves making small punctured in the skin that will allow the vein to be removed through. The blood of the leg is then diverted to other healthy veins without any bad effects. Ambulatory pblebectomy is performed under local anesthesia and in most cases, it does not require stitches. Following the one to two hour procedure, a bandage or compression stockings will be applied. The patient can go back to their normal routine immediately without any concern.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive treatment that can also be used for larger varicose veins. It is an excellent venous disease treatment that has replaced more invasive methods of the past. It is increasingly popular because it can help reduce symptoms, while also improving appearance with minimal time and pain. This procedure is conducted under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. The skin is first numbed, often the most painful part of the whole experience. Next, an IV is inserted directly into the leaking vein along with a laser fiber. Once inside, the laser is fired and the vein is sealed from the inside. The vein will be reabsorbed by the body, thus making it invisible on the surface of the skin. Patients can return to regular duties the following the day with very little restrictions.
For those looking for a more conservative option that will not be nearly as invasive, there are some available. Compression therapy, through the use of gradual compression stockings, is an excellent choice. They can help to reduce symptoms, prevent progression, and lessen the chance of blood clot. The pressure provided by the stockings greatly helps to reduce pooling of the blood. They can be used for a short time or for an extended period for treatment of venous veins. However, drawbacks may be that they must be worn daily to be effective and the patient must be under close care of a specialist. Other noninvasive treatments can include exercise, elevation, medication, and prevention.
Consulting with a vein specialist, a phlebologist, is critical for finding the best treatment option for each specific venous disease. By treating the symptoms through one of these methods, patients can stop the progression of the disease and greatly improve their quality of life.