Types of Medical Treatment for Varicose Veins

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Varicose veins are partially enlarged veins of the legs and feet. Usually, this condition is triggered by sustained pressure of the veins in the lower body. Although varicose veins can be a bit painful, it is not considered a serious health concern. Most people seek varicose vein treatments simply for aesthetics reason. However, developing varicose veins increases your risk of circulatory disorders. In today’s post, we are listing down the different varicose vein treatments to consider:

Compression Stockings

A non-invasive treatment for varicose veins is compression stockings. These stockings are worn to boost circulation and reduce pressure in the legs. Compression stockings help ease discomfort, swelling and pain of the legs. They can also stop the condition from getting worse. Compression stockings are available in different sizes. Pressure will vary as well.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a medical treatment that involves a shot of a saline solution directly into the engorged vein to aggravate the lining of the blood vessels. The irritated blood vessels will start sticking together to form a clot. Gradually, the enlarged veins will grow smaller because the blood drains away. Although effective, this treatment can cause headaches, fainting, temporary vision problems and blood clots in the other leg.

Surgery

For larger varicose veins that no longer respond to treatment, they have to be surgically repaired. The procedure will require general anesthesia, but the recovery period is very short. The most common surgical technique carried out to repair severe varicose veins is called ligation and stripping.

This technique is done by tying off and then removing the engorged vein in the leg through two incisions, one in the groin, and the other in the leg. Though effective, blood flow in the leg will be affected because of the damaged vein.

Radiofrequency Ablation

This treatment is done by applying radio-frequency energy to collapse the enlarged vein. Radio-frequency energy is generated by a heated, probe-like tool, which is inserted in the vein. The vein is then heated until its walls collapse. This effectively seals the vein shut. Once the vein is shut, blood will be redirected to other healthy veins. Although recovery period is short, this treatment will cause pain and swelling of the leg.

Endovenous Laser Treatment

As the name implies, this treatment is carried out by utilizing laser. Treatment starts by using an ultrasound scan to guide the laser into position. Then, the laser passes through the catheter and straight into the varicose vein. The laser emits short bursts of heat that seal and closes the affected vein shut. Once the vein is shut, blood flow is redirected to other parts of the body.

Trans-Illuminated-Powered Phlebectomy

Trans-illuminated powered Phlebectomy is done by making two incisions in the leg. A special light called an endoscopic transilluminator is placed underneath the skin to see the veins that need to be removed. Then, the surgeon will cut and then remove the engorged vein using a suction tool. Endoscopic transilluminator will require general anesthesia or local anesthesia, depending on the severity of the condition. Trans-illuminated powered Phlebectomy may cause bruising, slight pain, and swelling.


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