John is a 57 year old man in relatively good health. But when he comes to his doctor for an annual physical, he complaints about an increasing problem with standing on his feet or walking even short distances. His legs feel heavy and ache. He is often bothered by swelling. He tosses and turns in his bed at night because of strange sensations in his legs along with leg pain and itching. Other than clusters of spider veins, John’s legs look relatively normal. He doesn’t have any big, bulging varicose veins or open leg wounds. But John’s doctor doesn’t seem to notice his leathery looking brownish discolored skin and dermatitis. His doctor tells him, “John this is just part of getting older – nothing to worry yourself about.” But John isn’t so sure. He just knows he doesn’t want to live like this. John is absolutely right to seek answers for his problem and so are you, if you suffer from any or all of these symptoms.
This progressive circulatory condition, also called venous insufficiency or CVI, is a problem that left untreated, will get progressively worse and put John at risk for life threatening blood clots, venous stasis leg ulcers and the development of protruding varicose veins in his lower extremities. Left untreated, CVI is associated with an extremely poor quality of life.
Chronic venous insufficiency develops over time. The disease process begins when valves in the veins become incompetent, producing a reversal in vein blood flow and increasing blood pressure in the venous system called venous hypertension. Most patients develop spider and varicose veins from an increased blood volume and venous pressure that dilates these vessels. Sometimes they seek cosmetic procedures in vein centers that fail to diagnose and properly treat the underlying cause. With worsening venous congestion, the pressure increases and causes fluid to leak into surrounding tissues producing swelling or edema. Increasing pressure in the venous system may cause blood to leak out, producing a brownish skin discoloration.
The stasis of blood is associated with an impaired exchange of wastes with oxygen and nutrients at the capillary level. This results in localized changes that may include skin thickening, discoloration, dermatitis, tissue death, venous ulcers and severe infection called cellulitis. Along with a heavy sensation in the legs, pain, itching and restless legs are also common. All of these symptoms are collectively called CVI.
Often the first time a patient is evaluated by a vein treatment specialist, they have already experienced numerous treatment failures and arrive desperate for answers. Hopefully they are properly treated before irreversible damage to the deep vein system occurs. When this occurs, treatment options are limited and more serious and life threatening consequences are likely.
[toggle title=”What is the physician’s training and experience?”]
Many vein centers are operated by physicians who are not cardiovascular surgeons and vein treatment specialists. They may be board certified in other specialties such as internal medicine, plastic surgery or dermatology and their practice is generally limited to aesthetic treatments only. Patients are not evaluated or treated in these centers for underlying venous disease. There is no insurance reimbursement for aesthetic vein procedures. Aesthetic spider vein and varicose veins procedures will not prevent the progression of venous disease and development of new veins in other parts of the legs. [/toggle]
[toggle title=”Do they provide both aesthetic procedures and treatment for venous disease?”]
Only vein specialists will provide both aesthetic and medical-surgical treatments for diseases of the veins. This begins with a diagnostic screening exam to determine the pathology in need of correction.
[toggle title=”Is a vein screening ultrasound exam done prior to procedures?”]
A vein screening exam including a history, physical and ultrasound are critical for determining the presence and exact location of venous incompetence in superficial and deep vein systems. Only through this type of evaluation can a proper treatment plan be determined for producing an effective result.
[toggle title=”How is chronic venous insufficiency treated?”]
There is a tremendous variation in the treatments and techniques used by vein specialists for varicose veins, venous leg ulcers and other chronic venous insufficiency disorders. Some vascular surgeons rely on antiquated vein stripping for varicose veins – a painful procedure performed under general anesthesia in the hospital, and associated with severe bruising, an extensive recovery time and a high incidence of varicose vein recurrence. A procedure called SEPS or Subfascial Endoscopic Perforator Surgery for venous perforator disease and venous ulcers is associated with a 96% cure rate. Unfortunately, it must also be performed in the hospital under general anesthesia with its own risks of complications and additional healthcare costs. Most vein specialists are not trained in the use of state-of-the-art Laser Ablation for the treatment of incompetent venous perforators and saphenous veins. These cutting edge procedures can be performed in the office using local anesthesia and are associated with a 99% success rate and virtually no complications.
[toggle title=”What is the success rate for venous disease treatment?”]
The SEPS procedure and laser ablation for incompetent perforator and saphenous veins are the only procedures associated with a 96% or better cure rate. SEPS however, presents disadvantages including convenience, costs, a longer recovery time and risks associated with general anesthesia. Laser ablation in the office via a single needle stick under local anesthesia is the only surgical intervention associated with a 96-99% cure rate, a rapid recovery and no post operative complications.
[toggle title=”What type of anesthesia is used for vein treatment procedures?”]
All traditional vein treatment procedures for eliminating perforator and saphenous vein pathology are performed in the hospital under general anesthesia. State-of-the-art laser ablation is the only procedure that can be performed in the office with local anesthesia and allows the patient to walk immediately after their minimally invasive surgery.
[/toggle][toggle title=”What is the expected recovery time?”]
Out-dated vein stripping is associated with weeks of recovery time and healing from painful extensive bruising. SEPS procedures offer a much shorter recovery time with less pain in the post-operative period. Perforator and saphenous laser ablation are the only vein treatment procedures that cure underlying disease with virtually no pain and recovery in just a few days.
Vein Specialists of Arizona is one of a handful of vein treatment centers nationwide offering state-of-the-art virtually painless Laser Ablation and Radio Frequency procedures in the office – procedures that are safe, effective, comfortable and allow you to resume usual activities in just a few days. Best of all, these procedures permanently eliminate your venous insufficiency along with related symptoms.