Getting started with varicose vein treatment is easy. Simply contact your doctor or Baylor Scott & White Tuscan Cardiovascular and Vein Center for an appointment to see if you are a candidate for this type of treatment. We offer the treatment in Las Colinas, Granbury, and Stephenville. Don’t let the pain and embarrassment of varicose veins hold you back.
Varicose veins are a very common, and often unsightly and painful problem visible just under the surface of the skin. Although typically occurring in the legs and ankles, they can also form in other parts of the body. Approximately 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men in the United States suffer from this condition. Women are especially prone to suffer from varicose veins because of pregnancy. Heredity has been shown to be a contributory factor as well as certain occupations with prolonged sitting or standing.
How do varicose veins develop? Compared with other veins in the body, leg veins endure the most pressure and have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. To counteract the forces of gravity, veins have valves that prevent blood from flowing backward as it is pumped back toward the heart. Over time, these valves can weaken, allowing the blood to pool inside the vein. This can cause the vein to distend, resulting in the “rope-like” appearance commonly associated with varicose veins. This condition can lead to a range of serious health problems, including blood clots, leg ulcers, and poor circulation. Many individuals exhibit symptoms of venous insufficiency that include swelling, throbbing, cramping and restless legs.
Using ultrasound, a catheter is positioned into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter powered by radiofrequency energy delivers heat to the vein wall. As the thermal energy is delivered, the vein wall shrinks and is sealed closed. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthy veins. See a video of the procedure here. Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the incision site and additional compression is provided to aid healing. Patients who undergo this procedure typically resume normal activities within a day.
Historically, the only treatment for large varicose veins has been to surgically remove or ‘strip’ the vein from the body. Surgical stripping is done in an operating room under anesthesia requiring a considerable recovery period for the patient. More recently, a modified version of stripping known as ambulatory phlebectomy has grown in use. In this version of surgical stripping, multiple incisions are made to hook and remove the vein one portion at a time. The small size of the skin incision or puncture usually results in little or no scarring. More incisions are made than in standard vein stripping, but the damage to the leg and post-surgery recovery time are minimized.