Even if you take all precautions against developing venous disease, like eating healthy, exercising regularly, refraining from smoking and maintaining a stable weight, there is still a chance that you could develop varicose veins.
This is why varicose veins are so frustrating. There is very little you can do to avoid them — sometimes, it just comes down to the genetic lottery.
In fact, if both your parents have venous disease, you have about a 90% chance of developing the same conditions. If you are female with one parent who has a venous disease, you have about a 60% chance of developing varicose veins. If you are male with that same parent, your chances of developing the disease are about 25%.
So what can you do if you happen to fall into those unlucky percentages? Fortunately, it’s not a condition you have to tolerate. You have several options for treating varicose veins, especially if you are near Orange County and can visit California Vein Specialists.
Here are seven of the most common ways Dr. Leary and other vein specialists can help treat your varicose veins.
1) Endovenous Laser Ablation
This procedure boasts a 98% effectiveness rating for removing varicose veins and is much safer than surgical alternatives, making it one of the go-to treatments for varicose veins.
This minimally-invasive procedure begins with local anesthesia at the point of treatment. Once the anesthesia has kicked in, ultrasound imaging is used to guide a tiny laser fiber into the skin. Once the fiber is in place, more anesthetic is injected around the vein. The fiber then releases a quick pulse of intense heat, causing the vein to collapse and seal.
Once the vein is closed, the pressure in the leg is immediately relieved, and the area typically returns to normal health. These substantial health benefits all derive from a procedure that takes less than 25 minutes from start to finish.
Venefit is a very similar process to endovenous laser ablation. Both methods rely on utilizing heat to collapse and kill a problematic vein. The only differences between these two procedures are the type and intensity of heat that is used and the surface area that is treated at any given moment.
The temperatures used by endovenous laser ablation can reach up to 700 degrees Celsius, which can damage the vein walls and surrounding blood even with a solution insulating the heat around the vein.
Unlike endovenous laser ablation, which relies on laser-generated heat, Venefit uses a more controlled type of heat derived from radiofrequency energy. These temperatures generally only reach around 120 degrees Celsius, allowing for a more predictable and targeted approach.
Whereas Venefit and endovenous laser ablation rely on heat to close off and destroy a problematic varicose vein, sclerotherapy looks to achieve the same goal through a chemical injection.
The idea is to use an irritating solution injected directly into a vein. The solution causes the vessel to swell, cutting off blood flow and causing the vein to shrink. It is typical for patients to need two appointments to collapse a vein completely, but the process is a little less invasive than the options that rely on heat.
This procedure can be performed with nitrous oxide, which will help block pain from the procedure and reduce anxiety levels. If you are nervous about having sclerotherapy done, nitrous oxide is a useful tool at Dr. Leary’s disposal to calm your nerves.
In some cases, your physician might instead choose to go with Varithena rather than sclerotherapy. The only difference between these approaches is that the chemicals sclerotherapy uses are swapped out for a foam substance in Varithena, which blocks blood flow and kills the problematic varicose vein.
While the substances that are used are different, the result is virtually the same.
5) Ambulatory Phlebectomy
During this procedure, your physician will remove any superficial veins that have become varicose through a pattern of small incisions made in the skin. The veins are removed in segments through the incisions until all of the problematic areas have been addressed.
In some cases, it might be in the patient’s best interest to combine this procedure with Venefit or endovenous laser ablation, especially if there are multiple areas to contend with. The ambulatory phlebectomy will only be performed on the larger veins, while smaller areas can be addressed using the less invasive methods.
Because this is a form of vein stripping (removal), Dr. Leary does not perform this procedure now that more advanced, effective and less invasive options are available. By choosing a different procedure, the patient does not need to worry about having large volumes of local anesthetic or unsightly scars once the procedure has been completed. Other procedures generally have a smaller risk of infection as well.
6) Endoscopic Vein Surgery
This method is typically reserved for patients experiencing severe ulcers and is performed by a physician who will insert a small tube into your vein. At the end of that tube there is a small camera and mechanism can be used to close the vein off.
Once the treated vein has been closed, it will eventually die off and no longer be a source of pain, discomfort or aesthetic unhappiness. The recovery process is relatively straightforward, and most patients can return to their regular routines within a couple of weeks.
There are increased risks of nerve injury and infection with this procedure since it is more invasive than other modern options. Additionally, the recovery time is much more extensive because of its invasivity. For these reasons, Dr. Leary avoids this type of procedure.
Venoseal is a new treatment for treating varicose veins. This procedure introduces a resilient glue into the large veins through a small catheter. VenoSeal has the advantage of not needing anesthesia before treatment and has been found to be very effective for closing the large saphenous veins.
The problem with this treatment is that the glue never fully breaks down, meaning it will become a permanent fixture in the vein. Additionally, about 5% of patients treated with VenoSeal have an allergic reaction to the glue that can cause pain and inflammation — especially problematic considering the glue cannot be removed.
Patients may also have a permanent soft cord that they can feel under the skin. In these cases, Dr. Leary generally prefers either radiofrequency vein ablation (Venefit) or laser ablation.
Varicose Vein Treatment in Newport Beach
If you are interested in learning more about how you can treat your varicose veins, schedule a consultation with California Vein Specialists by giving us a call at (949) 515-9377 or by filling out our online contact form.
We look forward to helping you finally rid yourself of those painful and frustrating varicose veins.