Are you currently suffering from large unsightly varicose veins?
You are not alone and like most patients, you want to explore the latest treatments available before making a decision. Leg veins — both spider veins and varicose veins — usually occur because of an underlying vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency. This is a medical condition in which the valves in the veins are dysfunctional due to a host of issues. Mainly, the circulation becomes impaired and early signs can include the development of spider and varicose veins. If left untreated, vein disease can lead to progressive conditions like swelling, skin discoloration and even deep vein thrombosis.
Previously, treatment was far more involved and required surgical procedures like vein stripping. Today, due to the tremendous advances in technology, minimally invasive techniques have become the gold standard for vein treatment, including radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser treatment, venaseal, and sclerotherapy. In this article, we will provide an essential guide to the unique technologies being incorporated in the best vein clinics across the country.
RF ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure that is the gold standard in current treatments for venous insufficiency. It involves the direct insertion of a small catheter into the unhealthy vein. The catheter is designed to deliver heat energy into the vein causing it to collapse and ultimately reroute blood to the numerous healthy veins in your legs. The procedure is done within the office setting and can be completed with just local anesthesia. Most patients are able to continue their normal activity soon after treatment.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
Endovenous laser treatment is similar to radiofrequency ablation, but it uses laser energy instead of heat energy. Utilizing ultrasound guidance, a laser fiber is inserted into the problematic vein through a tiny incision in the skin. Laser energy is delivered directly into the vein to close it permanently. Over time, the vein is gradually reabsorbed by the body as opposed to being removed in typical stripping procedures. The major difference is the quick-recovery time and improved long term results.
VenaSeal is the latest technology to receive FDA-approval for the treatment of varicose veins. In contrast to ablation, VenaSeal is a medical adhesive that is deposited to close off diseased vein segments. The major advantage is eliminating the need for thermal treatments of the vein that usually require more local anesthetic. Additionally, there is no need for any post-treatment compression stockings due to the unique nature of VenaSeal. At this time, VenaSeal is a premier service at vein clinics and has more limited insurance coverage.
Varithena is a specially formulated microfoam utilizing a common medication, polidocanol. It is often the perfect complement to endovenous techniques such as ablation or VenaSeal. Residual segments of diseased veins are targeted by the microfoam for complete relief of symptoms. A typical session is completed in the office with direct injection of the medication into varicose veins. Varithena has also been used commonly in recurrent vein disease, particularly the difficult anatomies noted after a prior history of vein stripping.
- Minimally Invasive is Newer, but is it Better?
Traditional surgical methods such as stripping have been largely eliminated in the practice of venous medicine. Newer techniques are less disruptive, better tolerated, and associated with improved long-term outcomes. Most importantly, they are safer!The following benefits are clear reasons to opt for minimally-invasive techniques:● Minimally Invasive and Non-Surgical: Endovenous techniques described above are done in the office and require little patient preparation. The procedure requires can be done without sedation and is virtually pain-free.
- Safer: In the right hands, minimally invasive techniques pose minimal risks! As opposed to surgical methods, serious issues like DVT are very rare.
- Increased success rates: Unlike stripping procedures of the past, the long term success rates with endovenous techniques are above 95%. The risk of recurrence is rare and difficult problems such as neovascularization are less common.
- No Downtime: It’s remarkable to see patients come in for treatments and return back to work the very same day! Although that may not be for everyone, it’s an incredible statement on how far the procedure has come to improve patient well-being without disrupting normal routines.
Where to Find the Best New Vein Treatments?
When looking for varicose vein treatments, it’s important to find a treatment clinic that offers minimally-invasive treatment options. The information should be readily available on each clinic’s website. And while some techniques are clearly favored more often due to physician preference, a reputable vein clinic should be able to answer questions on all different modalities. At the Princeton Vascular Center, we have expert vein doctors who specialize in all the latest modalities including radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser treatment, venaseal, and varithena. Our vein doctors will develop an individualized plan based on your symptoms, medical history, and ultrasound results. If you have signs and symptoms of vein disease, then schedule an appointment with the best vein treatment center