Evaluating Your Venous Insufficiency Treatment Options
Most venous insufficiencies respond quite well to a number of different minimally invasive treatments. We’ll help you identify the best course of action for you.
Like most medical conditions, venous insufficiency can be easily treated if it’s diagnosed early. Indeed, any patient can benefit from a diverse range of treatments from simple lifestyle changes to more advanced outpatient procedures. As you seek to manage your venous issues, we’ll outline some of the most common treatments and help you determine the best course of action for you.
Treatments for venous insufficiencies can be as simple as making adjustments to your lifestyle. Changes to your usual routine like exercising more often, losing weight, eating healthier, regularly elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings, and avoiding standing or sitting for extended periods of time can all improve circulation to the veins in your legs, significantly reducing pain and inflammation in the process. While these changes won’t eliminate any existing varicose veins, they can delay the onset of new varicosities.
Radiofrequency and Laser Ablation
Many patients with varicose veins benefit greatly from minimally invasive procedures such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser ablation (EVLA). During these non-surgical treatments, a vein specialist uses an instrument to directly apply heat to the length of the affected vein, causing it to close and prompting the body to absorb it.
Ablation procedures are a simple and convenient solution to many venous issues, resulting in little to no pain and providing significant relief from the symptoms. RFA enjoys a success rate of 97%, while EVLA patients enjoy the outcomes of more traditional treatments such as ligation and stripping without suffering from the pain associated with them.
Used for removing bulging vein segments, ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive and relatively minor surgical procedure that can be performed in conjunction with an RFA or EVLA. During the procedure, a vein specialist makes tiny incisions into the skin and inserts a phlebectomy hook to remove the segments.
Unlike traditional stripping, these incisions are so small that stitches are rarely needed. Only the bulging sections are removed, making recovery much easier. As soon as the segment is removed, the body will begin to reroute blood to other healthier veins, and the healing process begins. Approximately 90% of patients find long-term relief after undergoing the procedure.
During sclerotherapy, a vein specialist injects a solution into a vein that then causes it to collapse and eventually disappear. Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is a treatment that uses ultrasonography to help the specialist place the needle into the affected vein. The medication (or sclerosant) is injected into the affected vein as a foam that causes it to close. As in other procedures, the blood is rerouted through healthy veins, and the body absorbs the closed vein.
Visual sclerotherapy is the preferred treatment for spider veins, which are smaller than varicose veins and are generally located closer to the surface of the skin. Similar to ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, it’s conducted visually by a health professional and doesn’t require the use of imaging equipment. Sclerotherapy is minimally invasive, costs less than surgery, can be performed in the doctor’s office, and carries a shorter recovery timeline.
Every patient with a venous insufficiency has different needs, of course, and your course of treatment should account for them. If you’re struggling with a venous condition and are looking to find an appropriate treatment for it, contact a vein specialist today to discuss your options.