Non-surgical Varicose Vein Treatment Options
Varicose veins can be more than an annoying cosmetic issue. For some patients, they translate into a great deal of discomfort. Gone are the days when getting rid of these unwanted and unsightly vessels automatically required extreme techniques like vein stripping. Today, patients have a number of non-surgical varicose vein treatment alternatives in addition to several types of surgery.
How Varicose Veins Develop
Understanding how varicose veins form is important before considering treatment alternatives. Most of these vessels appear in the legs and feet. In a normal leg vein, a one-way valve is responsible for keeping blood flow moving toward the heart. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, over time, these valves sometimes malfunction. This allows blood to pool in a vessel, causing it to swell from the accumulation. The end result is typically a varicose vein.
In addition to their gnarled, blue or purple appearance, these veins sometimes cause health issues such as phlebitis. Other problems to which they are linked include swelling, pain, skin changes, and blood clots. Fortunately, vascular clinics are able to offer a variety of treatments for these defective vessels.
Vein Clinic Options That Don’t Require Surgery
Individuals should contact a board-certified vascular surgeon who acts as a vein doctor if their varicose veins become painful, if they don’t improve with self-care, or if swelling or pain suddenly increases. Other signs include fever, leg sores, leg ulcers, and leg redness.
Vascular surgeons recommend the treatment most appropriate for a patient’s circumstances and health history. This generally means starting with a conservative approach before turning to surgery. The Mayo Clinic advises that sufferers can try a number of lifestyle and home remedies to decrease discomfort and help prevent future varicose veins:
- Get exercise
- Shed extra weight
- Elevate legs to improve circulation
- Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time
- Steer clear of high heels and tight clothes that restrict blood flow
- Avoid sitting with legs crossed
Three procedures available at a vein clinic are non-surgical treatments for varicose veins, the University of Chicago Medicine reports:
- Compression stockings are fit to the individual. Made of elastic, they compress veins to keep blood from flowing backward and must be worn every day. They sometimes help skin sores to heal.
- Laser treatment used to be utilized only for facial spider veins. New technology includes several kinds of lasers effective for varicose veins. Laser energy travels through a small fiber threaded into a targeted vein. This energy destroys the diseased part of the vessel, which eventually resorbs into the body.
- Ablation uses heat to eliminate defective veins. A catheter heats the walls of a vessel to destroy tissue. Although this is a surgical procedure, it is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure and is performed in the office.
It’s important to note that no option is 100 percent effective in preventing the development of new varicose veins. This is why some patients opt to return periodically for treatment.
Call us today at 713-423-6908 to schedule your consultation. You don’t have to suffer. We can help.
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