Usually, neither varicose nor spider veins are dangerous. Nevertheless, veins that are varicose can cause itching, uncomfortable pressure, and throbbing pain. Severe cases of veins that are varicose and untreated may result in a serious complication that is dangerous to your health. Here’s what you need to know about the effective treatment methods we offer, including phlebectomy, ambulatory microphlebectomy, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, and endovenous thermal ablation.
How Can You Get Rid of Varicose Veins?
In the past, varicose veins were treated via vein stripping, a surgical removal technique. This procedure involved pulling the disordered veins out of incisions. Today, there are many non-invasive and minimally invasive ways to treat veins that are varicose. Non-invasive treatment methods do not involve incising the skin or entering the body.
Minimally invasive treatment methods involve making tiny incisions. These very small incisions are more than adequate for treating very deep leg veins. Non-invasive treatments are most commonly used to treat superficial veins that are varicose.
Treatment Options That Are Non-Invasive and Minimally Invasive
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a varicose vein treatment method that involves injecting the disordered veins with a sclerosant, a special irritant. The sclerosant used is a solution comprising sodium tetradecyl sulfate and sterile saline. This safe irritant scars the vein and results in its collapse. Once the vein collapses, the blood is forced to find healthier veins to travel through to return to the heart.
Over time, the surrounding tissues absorb the collapsed veins that are starved of blood and you will never see them again. Sclerotherapy is the perfect treatment method for spider veins (telangestica) and small, superficial varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is the perfect treatment method for spider veins (telangestica) and small, superficial varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is the perfect treatment method for spider veins (telangestica) and small, superficial varicose veins. Foam sclerotherapy is ideal for the largest, most gnarled veins that are varicose.
Another popular varicose vein removal option is radiofrequency endovenous thermal ablation. During this technique, a catheter delivers radiofrequency energy. You may know this energy as radio waves. Then we will use ultrasound technology to get a clear picture of the inside of the leg. Guided by the ultrasound images, we will insert the catheter and run it across the vein. Radiofrequency energy heats the tip of the catheter. In turn, the catheter tip heats up the disordered vein’s wall.
Then, it is removed. As we remove the catheter, the venous wall heats up. This heat causes contractions and, ultimately, the collapse of the vein. After several weeks, the destroyed vein is absorbed by surrounding tissues and disappears. You will experience immediate relief from your physical symptoms but it can take between three weeks and many months for your healthy tissues to absorb the collapsed vein.
Laser Endovenous Ablation
Besides endovenous radiofrequency ablation, we proudly offer another form of endovenous thermal ablation. Now, we’d like to talk about laser endovenous ablation. While radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves to heat the catheter tip and vein wall, laser ablation uses laser energy to heat the wall of the targeted varicose vein.
Other than the method by which the vein is heated, the ablation treatment processes are the same. With laser endovenous ablation, a catheter heated by a laser is passed over the varicose vein and removed. As it is removed, the heated varicose vein contracts, collapses, and is absorbed by the surrounding tissues eventually. Both ablation techniques are ideal for treating large disordered veins deep beneath the surface of the skin.
During an ambulatory microphlebectomy, the affected parts of the leg are numbed. Then, several tiny punctures are made. Through these minuscule punctures, the damaged veins are removed. There is little-to-no recovery time and a few hours after your treatment is complete, you are free to return to your typical routine.
What To Expect During a Varicose Vein Treatment
Most of the varicose vein removal methods we use are performed under a local anesthetic. This numbs the treatment area and does not put you to sleep.
What To Expect Before the Treatment
Before we determine which treatment is the most appropriate for you, we will discuss your medical history and current health to ensure there will be no complications. Make sure to let us know if you are pregnant, are allergic to any foods or drugs, or taking any drugs, herbal medicine, or nutritional supplements. You may need to stop taking certain medications temporarily, including those that affect your blood’s ability to clot, like NSAIDs and MAOIs.
What To Expect During the Treatment
As stated previously, most non-invasive treatments are performed under local anesthetic while you are awake. We use ultrasound technology to see the targeted vein clearly. The target area is sanitized before it is numbed to mitigate the risk of infection. If you opt for laser endovenous ablation, regardless of where the affected vein is, you will be given special eye protection designed specifically to protect your eyes from the laser light.
What To Expect After the Treatment
We will wrap the treated area with special bandages if incisions were made to perform the treatment. You will need to wear these bandages for a number of days. It is very important that you have someone drive you home after your appointment. Even if your leg veins weren’t treated, you shouldn’t drive after your varicose vein removal session.
We recommend avoiding strenuous activities for the first few days following your treatment. Strenuous activity elevates your blood pressure and diverts energy away from absorbing the treated veins. Furthermore, strenuous activity increases your body temperature significantly. You should do your best to keep your body temperature within a normal range. Avoid hot baths and jacuzzis. Bathe with tepid water and mild soap.
How You Can Treat Your Disordered Veins at Home
It is also possible to use home remedies to manage the symptoms of enlarged, twisted veins. Here are a few effective at-home treatment methods:
Working out regularly improves your body’s ability to pump blood through the legs. This efficient circulation helps to keep blood flowing through the body rather than pooling in the legs, causing hematomas and uncomfortable swelling. Regular exercise will also keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. Hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors of veins becoming varicose. If your varicose veins are in your legs, exercise your calves without putting too much strain on them by:
- Doing yoga
Wear Compression Garments
Wearing compression garments is another great way to ease the symptoms of varicose veins. The garment is looser towards your extremities and tightens as it gets closer to the affected area. For example, if you have a varicose vein cluster in your lower leg, a compression sock would be ideal for you. It is looser in the toes and tightens the closer it gets to your calf. This supports the disordered veins; more blood makes it back to your heart.
In 2018, a study revealed that wearing a knee-high compression sock for seven days with a pressure of 18-21 mmHg decreases the aches and pain associated with gnarled veins. Such stockings can be purchased online or at your favorite local pharmacy.
Change Your Diet
You can also ease the symptoms of disordered veins by changing your diet if it is suboptimal. The more water your body retains, the worse off your damaged veins will be. Keep a food journal and record everything you eat and drink for seven days. Look at all of the nutritional labels and note how much sodium you are consuming daily. If you suffer from hypertension, consume no more than a gram of sodium daily.
You can also minimize the effects of sodium in your diet by consuming foods that are high in potassium, like potatoes, salmon, tuna, and unsalted almonds. You may also experience a reduction in your symptoms if you eat foods that are high in fiber, like:
- Whole-grain pasta
- Whole-wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds
Eat More Foods That Are High in Flavonoids
Flavonoids are important for shrinking veins that are varicose. They also support a strong circulatory system. This minimizes the amount of blood that pools in the lower extremities. Furthermore, flavonoids are crucial for lowering blood pressure and relaxing veins. Foods you should consider incorporating into your diet include:
- Grapes, blueberries, cherries, apples, and citrus fruits
- Broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, onions, and other vegetables
Try Grape Seed Extract
Herbal remedies aren’t old wives’ tales. They’re backed by quality scientific research. According to in-depth research conducted by the NIH (National Institute of Health), you can minimize swelling in your lower extremities by consuming grape seed extract orally.
It can also provide relief from other chronic venous insufficiency symptoms. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any herbal or dietary supplement. Grape seed extract should be avoided if you take drugs that thin your blood.
Try Plant Extracts
Plant extracts may also minimize the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. For example, a 2006 study proved that horse chestnuts are effective for the reduction in heaviness, itching, and pain of the legs in people who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. Chronic venous insufficiency is a significant risk factor for the development of veins that are varicose. Horse chestnut extract can be purchased online or from a health store.
Published in 2010, the results of a medical review study proved that Butcher’s broom extract and sea pine extract can be used to treat edema in individuals with damaged veins. These plant extracts may also be purchased online or at a health store. Keep in mind, you need to dilute these oils in a carrier oil, like avocado or olive oil, before you apply them to your skin.
Book an Appointment
Most of the time, damaged valves and varicose veins don’t pose a significant threat to health. Nonetheless, they can be aesthetically concerning and affect one’s quality of life negatively. They can itch, burn, tingle uncomfortably and throb in pain.
Luckily, we offer several non-invasive and minimally invasive ways to treat these disordered veins that offer long-term results. Contact us today at the office of Madison Medispa in Waunakee, WI to schedule an appointment and determine which vein treatment method is appropriate for you.