Varicose veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are easily seen under the skin and are typically red or blue in color. They often cause pain, swelling and heaviness at the affected leg. Most often they are seen in the legs, but they can actually appear in many other parts of the body, such as the feet. Small varicose veins that are visible on the surface of the skin are called spider veins.

Varicose veins are caused when a vein swells due to collected blood. For example, when a one-way valve in the leg doesn’t work properly, it allows blood to accumulate in the vein, which makes it swell.

Typically, varicose veins do not cause many issues, but they can cause serious problems like leg swelling, pain, blood clots, and skin changes, and even skin ulcerations.

We treat most varicose veins with office based procedures under local anesthesia. Large and bulky vein treatment are mostly covered by insurance. A period of compression stocking usage may be required by your insurance provider before outpatient treatment can be offered. Patients walk immediately after the procedures, most use little to no narcotics after treatment and return to work and/or activities very quickly.

Laser closure is a technique developed in the late 90’s that addresses venous reflux in a relatively non-invasive method. An intravenous catheter is inserted just below the knee into the diseased saphenous vein. The vein is then “closed” using a laser probe. Our laser is 1470 nm, the newest and most “pain free” laser and catheter available.  The procedure generally takes less than an hour and the patient is allowed to walk the day of surgery. Pain and disability, including time off work, are dramatically reduced.

Venous Closure

Risk factors include:

  • Older age
  • Being female (Varicose veins are more common in women than men and can be caused by hormonal changes from puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Taking birth control pills or hormone replacements can increase the risk.)
    Having defective valves from birth
  • Obesity
  • History of blood clots in the leg
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Family history

“He was very professional, courteous and kept me informed throughout the whole procedure.”
– David Hickman, Embryologist

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