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Varicose Vein Treatment

Nov 28, 2007
If you have bulging veins accompanied by a burning sensation or pain after long periods of standing, you may have what is called varicose veins. These problematic and unsightly veins can be treated. Because each individual case can vary, you should contact a vascular specialist for diagnosis of your veins and to see what varicose vein treatment options are available for you.

When should you seek medical advice?

If you've tried alternative methods and they haven't helped, or you are concerned about the look of your legs, or experience severe symptoms you should see a doctor.

Screening and diagnosis

While you are standing, your doctor will examine your legs, search for any signs of swelling veins. He or she may ask you if you are experiencing any problems and what they are. Then, your doctor may perform an ultrasound test to see if the valves in your veins are performing adequately or if there are any signs of a blood clot.

Treatment Options

Treatment options are most often performed on an outpatient basis. You can also try exercising, weight loss, wearing loose fitting clothing, elevating your legs and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, these things can help to ease any pain or discomfort that you may be experiencing as well as preventing your varicose veins from getting worse. If you develop varicose veins while you're pregnant, know that in most cases they improve within three months after delivery.

If you've exhausted all avenues and your varicose veins are still problematic, your doctor may advise one of these treatments:

* Sclerotherapy -- with this procedure, your doctor will inject your small-medium sized varicose veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins. Your treated varicose veins should fade within a few weeks. However, the same veins may need to be injected more than once; treatment is effective if done correctly. This procedure doesn't require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor's office.

* Laser surgeries -- your doctor will use a laser to close off smaller varicose veins and spider veins. Laser works by sending powerful bursts of light onto the vein, which makes the vessel gradually fade and disappear.

* Catheter - assisted procedures--your doctor will insert a thin tube into the oversized vein where the tip of the tube heats. As the tube is removed, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut. This procedure is usually used on larger varicose veins.

* Vein stripping -- this procedure uses two surgical incisions that allow your surgeon to tie off and literally pull out the damaged vein. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.

* Ambulatory phlebectomy -- your doctor will remove the less significant varicose veins through a series of small skin punctures. This is an outpatient procedure that uses local anesthesia, there is minimal scarring.

* Endoscopic vein surgery--if your varicose veins have progressed to the point where you have ulcers, then this procedure may be necessary. Your surgeon will insert a small video camera into your leg in order to see and close the varicose vein, then, he or she will remove the vein through small incisions.

You should also know that there is no cure for vein disease and it is a progressive disease that requires regular follow-up after every form of treatment.
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