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Top 10 Important Questions to Ask Before Vein Surgery

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1. What special training or certification do you have in vein care and where did you receive your training?

When searching for someone to treat your varicose veins, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to find someone who has demonstrated their commitment to the practice of Phlebology - the study, diagnosis, and treatment of vein disease - through their membership and board certification with the American College of Phlebology (now known as Venous and Lymphatic Medicine).  

As a member of this society your varicose vein doctor will be held to the highest standards of venous care providing specialized training in both the treatment of venous and lymphatic disease and diagnostic ultrasound.

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5 things you need to Know about Varicose Vein Disease

Important Facts about Vein Disease-Varicose Veins.

If you or someone you know suspects the possibility of having vein disease because of the various symptoms of vein disease: leg and ankle swelling, discoloration, poor wound healing, etc., here are several important things you need to know. varicose-veins

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Why Doctor Use Ultrasound for Varicose Vein Treatment

Although the word "ultrasound" probably doesn't create an association with your legs, with today's modern treatment of varicose veins, the ultrasound has become the supporting role in proper varicose vein care.  In fact, the use of a Doppler Duplex Ultrasound has become so important that it has transitioned into the key diagnostic tool for receiving effective and efficient care in removing your varicose or spider veins.  

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Why Board Certified Vein Specialist is so Important.

Treating your Varicose Veins can be scary enough... that's why it is important to see a Board Certified Vein Specialist.

Many patients seek treatment for their varicose veins for a number of reasons, but often fail to get the proper treatment they need. This is a story shared by one of our patients, Darlene Schuette, describing just that. Our patient’s share their stories with you out of a desire to educate more people who may have potential issues with vein disease so that they may seek proper care before the disease gets worse. Generally, these stories remain anonymous, but Darlene asked to share her name.

It has been 15 years since Darlene Schuette was first treated for varicose veins. She knew very well that she had them as she inherited her bulging veins from both sides of the family. Although it was many years ago she still remembers the experience as if it were yesterday. At the time, Darlene was in her late 50s and had a real hard time getting out of the car as her legs were heavy and swollen. She needed help and went to a doctor not knowing what to expect.  Unfortunately, her doctor did not fully inform her of what procedures were needed or offered at the time one what was going to take place. Darlene was uncomfortable from the start and as they put her to sleep she remembered asking why this was needed and the doctor said that it was common to do so. Darlene, thinking back, stated "they had me with my feet up for many hours, and the surgery lasted two days as I needed to come back the next day to finish." When she woke in pain she was informed that it would take a few weeks for her leg to heal and that she would have to 

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What are the varicose vein treatment success rate?

Vein Stripping vs Modern Varicose Vein Treatments. 

Traditionally, the only way to treat your vein disease was done by a surgical procedure known as “vein stripping”.  Vein stripping is performed in a hospital setting and takes a few hours to perform.  The actual procedure involves making incisions up and down the legs allowing for the insertion of a small wire directly into the varicose vein. The wire is then tied to the vein and pulled, or “stripped”, out of the body. Afterwards, the incisions are stitched up and wrapped.  Vein stripping requires general anesthetics, because it is as painful as it sounds, and sends the patient home for the next few weeks to recover.  In addition to the somewhat barbaric method, vein stripping has shown a steady success rate of under 50% with recurrence rates high.  Moreover, vein stripping, as you can imagine, can often cause more damage than benefit to the patient, as it unnaturally destroys the veins.

Fortunately, modern technology has made significant advancements in proper vein care and today successfully treating your varicose veins has never been easier.  One of the most popular methods in properly treating your varicose veins is known as “Endovenous Laser Therapy” or EVLT.  EVLT differs drastically from vein stripping as it is typically performed in a clinical setting allowing the patient to return to their normal activities immediately following the procedure.  Additionally, EVLT uses a optical fiber laser that is inserted into the veins, by way of a catheter, that essentially heats the veins from the inside gently sealing the veins as the fiber is slowly removed. The varicose vein then dissolves into the blood stream, while blood flow is instantaneously directed to properly function veins in the legs.  Furthermore, one drastic difference in performing EVLT over vein stripping is the use of a Doppler Duplex ultrasoundDoppler_Duplex_Ultrasound

While doctors who perform vein stripping have to insert the wire into the veins blindly, prodding the vein walls back and forth until the wire is fully inserted, the ultrasound used in EVLT procedure allows the vein specialist to accurately see where the laser is going significantly reducing the pain while also decreasing the required procedure time. This is one of the main reasons why EVLT requires no downtime, only local anesthetics, and takes less than one hour with minimal to no pain (also making EVLT less expensive than vein stripping).

More importantly, the success rates for treatments like EVLT are close to 100% with practically no recurrence down the road. It is also worth noting that while almost 50% of the population above the age of 50 have varicose veins, the success rates using EVLT are the same regardless of your age. Lastly, the complications from EVLT are generally very minor, involving some bruising, and temporary numbness or induration or a sensation of tightness.

Our Philosophy. Find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.

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