The problem of varicose veins extends beyond aesthetics. They may indicate a more serious condition, such as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which occurs when the blood vessels in your lower extremities weaken and no longer function correctly. CVI can produce throbbing, cramping, or a heavy, exhausted sensation in the affected limbs, and result in changes to skin’s color and texture. It can also make you more prone to varicose veins, ulcers, inflammation, edema, and blood flow issues.
Vein-related symptoms typically don’t subside by themselves and ultimately worsen. However, a number of minimally invasive techniques can eliminate your troublesome veins permanently and ease your symptoms, often with only one treatment.
Consult a vascular surgeon if any of the following minimally invasive treatment methods may benefit you if you’re sick of dealing with vein issues.
1. Lifestyle changes
By making certain changes to your daily routine, you may prevent the symptoms of varicose and spider veins from growing worse, as well as reduce your likelihood of experiencing additional vein issues. Vein doctors typically advise all patients to:
- Decrease their weight to a healthy level and keep it there to ease leg discomfort
- Exercise regularly, with an emphasis on leg-pump-enhancing movements like walking and running
- Elevate their legs and take brief breaks to move around if sitting for extended periods
2. Compression therapy
Wearing specialized clothing to provide external pressure to the leg in order to compress the valves closer together and improve their effectiveness is known as compression treatment. Compression socks and stockings can be used to apply gradual compression and give support.
Many designs of over-the-counter compression hoses resemble conventional stockings or hoses, and they are sold at pharmacies and medical supply stores. Anyone with vein problems is advised to wear prescription-strength clothing. A certified specialist can fit you for socks or hose based on your physical features and venous condition.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting chemicals into the damaged veins to seal them and prevent blood circulation through them. Over time, the body redirects blood flow away from the treated veins and toward healthy veins, causing the veins to scar and eventually disappear. In order to prevent swelling and speed up the recuperation of your legs, you may need to wear compression stockings or tight bandages in between sessions.
4. Radiofrequency ablation
In order to perform radiofrequency ablation, a catheter—a small, flexible tube—must be inserted into the problematic vein. A heating element at the catheter’s tip warms up and closes the vein from the inside.
You may have venous insufficiency surgery performed in your doctor’s clinic with simply a local anesthetic and leave that same day. The radiofrequency ablation-treated vein will turn into scar tissue and disappear when healthy veins take over the leg’s regular blood circulation.
This outpatient method can be used to treat veins that are too large for sclerotherapy or too tiny for ablation. To remove problematic veins, the surgeon will make small, 2-3 mm incisions in your skin. Although you won’t need sutures, wearing an elastic bandage or compression socks for a few days will help the healing process.
Your doctor will utilize a catheter to inject a little quantity of medical adhesive within faulty veins during this quick outpatient treatment. These veins are sealed up by the glue, and over the following few weeks, the body switches blood circulation to healthy veins.
The bottom line
You don’t need to put up with venous issues. To determine the best course of action for your particular problem, see a board-certified vascular surgeon.