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How are Veins Treated?  Varicose Vein Removal

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How are Veins Treated?  Varicose Vein Removal

Posted on July 10, 2013 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

As most may know, not all of our veins are created equally, and thus the treatments for removing varicose or spider veins may be different. In fact there are many forms of treatment for removing chronic venous hypertension (varicose veins) ranging from both surgical to non-surgical outpatient procedures. However, while removing varicose and spider veins is not entirely new, there have been some significant technological advancements in recent years. 

Surgical Forms  

vein stripping

Traditionally, one of the most common surgical procedures for vein removal is known as "Vein Stripping". This form of surgery is seen in the field of Phlebology (the practice of varicose and spider vein removal) as a more barbaric and antiquated treatment of venous hypertension for a number of reasons. First, and most importantly, vein stripping is not as effective as more traditional methods leaving a recurrence rate of anywhere from 25-35% of the time in the first year and up to 55% after 5 years. Second, the procedure is often difficult for patients to undertake, as it is more painful, and carries a significant risk of complications such as infection, blood clots, numbness and swelling.  Surgical vein stripping is generally performed on superficial veins (the great saphenous vein) making larger incisions along the vein.  This often requires the use of either spinal or general anesthesia and involves a more lengthy recovery time.

Another surgical form of treatment is known as "Ambulatory Phlebectomy". This procedure is used mainly for removing large bulging veins near the surface of the skin by making small incisions to remove the veins. Typically these smaller incisions heal on their own without the need for stitches.  Typically, ambulatory phlebectomy produces minimal pain, with minor recovery time needed.  

 

Non-Surgical Forms

Over the past decade or so, technology has made significant strides in advancing the treatment of varicose and spider veins.  In search for a safer and less invasive method, a technique known as "radio frequency" was discovered.  This form of treatment allowed for tiny pulses of energy to enter the saphenous vein. Over time this treatment was modified into "endovenous radio frequency ablation" which uses a probe to enter the veins emitting radio waves in small frequencies that eventually heat up to collapse the vein walls.  Although, this procedure is far more effective and less painful than traditional methods, is does require more procedures and is not as effective as other forms of endovenous procedures.

endovenous laser ablationWhile it is common for patients to seek medical attention for their more visible veins, the use of the ultrasound has made it far easier for Phlebologists to isolate the source of a patients venous hypertension. The use of the ultrasound discovers something known as "venous reflux" or "venous insufficiency" generally in the great saphenous vein.  

Additionally, the ultrasound is used when performing "Endovenous Laser Therapy/Ablation" (EVLT or EVLA). EVLA compared to vein stripping is by far the least painful and quickest procedure performed.  It leaves no scarring, requires no down time, is less expensive, and requires minimal local anesthetic.  Unlike radio frequency, EVLA uses a small laser guided by ultrasound up the saphenous vein, which is then gently removed eventually dissolving the vein into the blood stream.  The reoccurence of varicose veins when using EVLA is nearly 0%.

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY. FIND A BOARD CERTIFIED VENOUS AND LYMPHATIC DOCTOR.

At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. 

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON VARICOSE VEIN TREATMENT DOWNLOAD OUR FREE PATIENT GUIDE!

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Tagged Varicose Vein Treatment, varicose veins, endovenous laser ablation, endovenous laser therapy, Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins, venous hypertension, vascular insufficiency, saphenous vein, vein stripping, venous insufficiency, scelrotherapy

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