Today, I am going to break down the three different groups of treatment available for varicose veins. The first group being endovascular laser ablations or radio frequency ablations. The second group being an injection technique or Sclerotherapy and finally the third group being surgery.
Now, with the first group, with endovascular laser ablation, this has become the gold standard for the treatment of varicose veins. Here a laser fiber is inserted directly into the damaged vein and what it does is that it basically destroys this vein by creating heat around the vein from the inside out. Now, this entire procedure is done under ultrasound guidance and with local anesthetic and therefore, patients actually tolerate this really well.
The next form of treatment is the injection technique or also known as Sclerotherapy. Here a special solution is injected directly into the damaged vein wall therefore irritating the linings of the vein and breaking down the vein. Your body then absorbs these destroyed vein, similarly to how your body absorbs a bruise. Now, glue can also be injected and what glue does is that, once it’s injected directly into the vein, it basically blocks off the vein wall, not allowing blood to flow directly through it. And therefore, it creates a block in that flow, reducing the symptoms of these varicose veins. Use of glue often takes almost two to three years before it breaks down completely, so it’s important that patients understand that.
Finally, we have surgery. Surgery used to be the only available treatment for varicose veins and the specific procedure was called stripping, that most patients have heard of. Here, similarly to pulling off a sock off your leg, the vein was basically pulled out from the inside out. The issue with this procedure is that the rate of recurrence or development of new veins was quite high after some time. Also, this procedure needs to be done in a hospital under general anesthetic. You also often have a hospital stay, your legs often wrapped with bandages and it can be quite painful. There are other forms of surgery that are non-invasive or minimally invasive, similar to a procedure called hooking technique or phlebectomies where by pieces or segments of veins are basically pulled out after a small incision is made along your leg. This procedure is done completely under local anesthetic and it usually yields the best cosmetic results and patients are quite comfortable going through this. It’s important to note that every patient that presents with vein disease may not have the same vein pathology, therefore it is really important to get assessed to find out exactly what types of treatments you need specifically.
I trust this gives you a bit of insight into the different forms of treatment. If you need further information about treatments of veins, please visit our website at www.doctorvein.com.au.