Varicose Vein Treatment: Cosmetic Results and Procedures that Eliminate the Cause
If you’re like many people with varicose veins, you may dismiss your swollen legs and painful symptoms for a very long time. Perhaps you have resolved to live with the unsightly appearance of progressively twisted varicose veins and swelling. You put up with exhaustion from full, heavy, aching leg pain and cramps, and restless legs with strange sensations that keep you tossing and turning at night. Besides not wearing your favorite pair of shorts, you may find yourself opting out of activities you enjoy, either because of embarrassment or just not being able to stand on your feet. Even going to work may be an enormous challenge. As the quality of your life deteriorates, you probably come to realize that this disease of the superficial veins in your legs is much more serious than you once thought – a problem that you desperately want to go away.
The Disease Process behind Varicose Veins
All diseases of the veins in your legs including spider and varicose veins, begin when valves in the veins become incompetent, producing a reversal in vein blood flow and increasing blood pressure (venous hypertension) in the affected blood vessels. Veins dilate or become enlarged from an increased blood volume. When venous drainage and increased blood pressure occurs in the surface veins of the legs, the result is spider vein and varicose vein formation. Severe varicose vein disease is generally related to a problem in the Great Saphenous and Small Saphenous venous systems.
State-of-the-Art Varicose Vein Treatment
The treatment of varicose veins has evolved from debilitating and obsolete “vein stripping” procedures associated with a lengthy and painful recovery to comfortable Saphenous Laser and Radio Frequency Ablation procedures at VSA, performed in the office from a single needle stick. Both of these vein treatment procedures are easy, quick and comfortable through the use of local anesthesia. Patients resume walking immediately after their procedure and are back to normal activities within a few days to a week. Patient satisfaction is extremely high as the symptoms related to venous pathology are permanently eliminated.
Sclerotherapy is the injection of medication directly into an abnormal vein to make it close off. This procedure requires no anesthesia and leaves no scars.
Microphlebectomy, also a quick and painless procedure, offers an aesthetic solution for removing prominent varicose veins. It is performed through tiny needle punctures that virtually leave no scars. The combination of proven vein treatment procedures – radio frequency treatments, laser ablation and microphlebectomy – provide the most effective varicose vein treatment by both treating the disease and providing a cosmetic result.
What to Know about Most Vein Clinics
Physicians in specialties unrelated to vein treatment often provide aesthetic spider vein and varicose vein procedures as an added service in their practice. Aesthetic clinics staffed by vein doctors who lack training and equipment for venous disease treatment, do not diagnose or treat the underlying problem.Cosmetic treatments may temporarily eliminate your surface varicose veins but the problem will likely produce more veins in other parts of your legs. Cosmetic procedures do not eliminate symptoms associated with diseases of the veins. Since the procedures are cosmetic, there is usually no reimbursement by health insurance providers.
When you come to VSA for varicose vein treatment, we will also evaluate you for signs of venous disease. If present, your treatment is addressed before any cosmetic work is provided. This approach minimizes the risk of recurring spider veins and varicose veins. It can also prevent the occurrence of serious blood clots and leg ulcers. Should we find venous disease to be your problem, you may be entitled to insurance benefits for diagnosis and treatment.
Vein Treatment Common Questions
An underlying venous problem can lead to more serious problems such as blood clots, bleeding, skin pigmentation and ulcers. Relatively simple procedures can eliminate these conditions before they become catastrophic and life threatening events. Treatments for venous diseases are generally covered by health insurance plans and Medicare.
During your initial visit, all of the following are provided:
- Office consultation with physician
- Ultrasound screening
- Diagnosis and treatment plan
- Comfortable, relaxed environment
- Professional caring staff specializing in state-of-the-art vein treatment
- Awake but comfortable with local anesthesia
- No incisions or sutures (stitches)
- Minimal to no scarring
- All procedures done through a simple needle stick
- Most patients do not require pre-medication and can drive themselves to and from the procedure
- Little downtime – resume walking the same day
- Post operative discomfort managed through OTC pain medicine
Besides people with an obvious vein problem (bulging veins), the following symptoms may be related to underlying venous disease:
- Painful and Tender legs
- Restless legs
- Itchy legs
- Swollen legs
- Strange sensations on the legs
- Leathery skin on the legs
- Skin discoloration on the legs
- Leg ulcers
When your venous screening exam reveals the presence of venous disease, we accept for payment whatever your insurance company or Medicare pays. Anyone who subscribes to our vein treatment eNewsletter will be entitled to receive a free vein screening exam at VSA. This includes patients interested in aesthetic vein treatment (not reimbursable by insurance).
Varicose Vein Treatment Common Questions
Varicose veins are large, distended and sometimes twisted veins that may develop on one or both legs. When the valves in the veins become incompetent and do not close completely, blood flows backwards towards the feet. Restricted venous drainage increases the blood pressure in the surface veins of the leg. Over time, this the veins stretch, producing varicose veins which may lead to more serious venous disease.
Three major risk factors for the development of varicose veins are age, occupation and pregnancy.
- Age: with increased age, elastic walls of the veins deteriorate and become more susceptible to overstretching.
- Occupations: many occupations that require standing or sitting for prolonged periods produces venous stasis and varicose vein formation. Sales personnel, nurses, mechanics, waitresses and those who sit at a desk all day are most at risk.
- Pregnancy: during later pregnancy, a greatly expanded blood volume and increased lower abdominal pressure reduces venous drainage and favors the development of varicose veins. Although these generally subside after delivery, women who have varicose veins during pregnancy are more apt to redevelop them later in life.
Patients with varicose veins seek treatment for a variety of reasons – sometimes they are motivated by aesthetic concerns and often they wish to relieve symptoms that compromise their quality of life. When varicose veins produce swelling and pain and/or interfere with sleeping, walking and participating in normal activities, treatment is recommended. Varicose vein treatment is suggested as a preventative measure when the varicose vein disease is associated with a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These patients have an increased susceptibility to form more life threatening clots and develop serious venous disease such as chronic venous insufficiency and stasis leg ulcers. Those who are bothered by the unsightly appearance of their spider and varicose veins, should be evaluated and treated for venous disease prior to undergoing any aesthetic procedure.
Most vein clinics are set up to provide aesthetic treatment of spider and varicose veins. They are not skilled, experienced or trained to provide treatment of underlying venous disease. Generally, these vein clinics are staffed by physicians in other specialties such as podiatry, dermatology and internal medicine. When cosmetic treatment only is provided, the disease in the veins still exists along with related symptoms and the potential to develop into a serious problem. Although a great cosmetic result is achieved, it is only a matter of time before new spider and varicose veins appear in other parts of the legs.
When you come to VSA, we evaluate your vein problem and determine if a procedure is indicated to correct a problem in your Greater Saphenous Vein system. When a problem is detected, we address it in addition to providing aesthetic treatments. Unlike cosmetic vein clinics where payment is the patient’s responsibility, our diagnosis and treatment of venous disease is generally covered by Medicare and private insurance.
Procedures to diagnose and treat vein disease are generally covered by insurance. When it is determined that varicose veins are related to venous disease, the diagnostic evaluation and vein treatment surgical procedure is often covered by Medicare and private insurance. Procedures for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons are solely the patient’s financial responsibility. Our front office will gladly assist you in the insurance reimbursement process when that option is available.
Vein stripping is an obsolete and invasive procedure for treating prominent varicose veins and associated chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) related to incompetence of the Greater Saphenous Vein. Vein stripping involves removal of the Greater Saphenous Vein on the inside of the thigh and lower leg. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia in the hospital. It is associated with a long, painful recovery and bruising that can take months to resolve. Vein stripping is associated with a high incidence of recurring varicose veins.
State-of-the-art and minimally invasive procedures at VSA for treating incompetence of the Greater Saphenous Vein offer a much better solution. In an office procedure with the patient awake and comfortable, a procedure called Saphenous Laser Ablation achieves the same result though a single needle stick. Patients have minimal complaints following this varicose vein surgery and resume normal activities within a few days.
At VSA, Great and Small Saphenous Vein Laser Ablation is a highly effective, safe, quick, virtually painless and easy treatment for varicose veins from pathology in these systems. Through a single needle stick after local anesthesia, a small diameter laser filament connected to a laser system is used to close off the Greater Saphenous vein from the inside. Unlike invasive vein stripping, there is very little trauma and minimal if any bruising. Patients recover quickly, walking the same day and resuming most activities within a few days.
Radiofrequency ablation is a newer, minimally invasive, treatment for varicose veins. This technique uses radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) to heat up and damage the wall inside a vein. This usually closes off a varicose vein in the leg. To treat a varicose vein, radiofrequency energy is directed through a thin tube (catheter) inserted through a small incision in the vein. It can be used on large veins in the leg and can be done in an office setting using local anesthesia.
The actual removal of large varicose veins is accomplished through Microphlebectomy at VSA. Through this European technique, prominent varicose veins are removed through tiny needle punctures and virtually leave no scars. Microphlebectomy is quick and relatively painless, producing better results than through traditional treatments. Sclerotherapy is also used for smaller varicose vein removal when indicated.
More About Vein Treatment and VSA…
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State-of-the-Art Vein Treatment
You are one step away from the most effective, technologically advanced procedures for the safe and virtually painless treatment of spider veins, varicose veins, venous leg ulcers and chronic venous insufficiency. These state-of-the-art aesthetic and medical procedures are fast, comfortable, without side effects, associated with a rapid recovery, and performed in the office while you remain awake. Procedures for the treatment of venous disease are generally covered by insurance and Medicare.
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Contact Vein Specialists of Arizona (VSA)
- Address: 9515 W. Camelback Rd., Suite 108 Phoenix, AZ 85037
- Phone: (623) 428-0068
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Vein Specialists of Arizona is conveniently located in Phoenix close to Anthem, Avondale, Buckeye, Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Cave Creek, Chandler, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Lakeside, Maryville, Mesa, Peoria, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Scottsdale, Sierra Vista, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tempe, Tucson and Yuma.