Varicose Vein Treatment at Winchester Radiologists

Varicose Veins affect 25 million Americans every year, but are very treatable.  This condition can often be identified by dark blue or purple veins that bulge located on one or both legs. In some cases they can also be painful.  For some people the issue is more cosmetic, but for others it is a painful condition to deal with, causing aching, burning, or general discomfort when sitting or standing for an extended period of time.

We treat Varicose Veins with a procedure called Endovascular Laser Treatment (EVLT).   Using thin fiber a Laser is inserted into the damaged vein.  The doctor will use the laser to emit just the right amount of energy to close and seal the vein shut.   The veins that are closed off normally would handle less than 5% of your blood flow.  The blood that would normally be flowing through the treated vein, will be redirected to other veins.

Symptoms and Causes

Varicose veins can develop through a combination of weakened vein walls and faulty valves. Any superficial vein can become varicose but the most common are those in your legs. Under a variety of circumstances, such as long periods of standing or walking, the increase in pressure in your lower extremities can cause vein walls to become weak.  The recirculating blood that should be moving toward your heart can start to flow backwards.

One-way valves in these veins can also fail to function properly. Normally, these valves open and enable blood to flow through on its way up, then close to stop the blood from flowing back down. If these valves stop working, blood can pool and cause the veins to bulge from excess volume.

Symptoms

  • Veins that are dark blue or purple.
  • Veins that appear bulging or twisting.
  • Aching or heavy feeling in your legs.
  • Burning, throbbing, swelling, in your legs.
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • itching and or skin discoloration around vein.

How EVLT Works

The procedure can last anywhere between 30 minutes and one hour, and requires only local anesthetic.  After numbing the skin, your physician will access the vein using a needle and insert a thin laser fiber into the vein.  The laser light emitted by the fiber is used to seal the faulty vein. While you might feel an unfamiliar sensation, it is not painful.  This part of the procedure only takes a few minutes.  You can resume normal activity the same day.  The treated area may be sore but that should subside within a few days. You can manage this pain effectively with over the counter non-aspirin pain relievers like ibuprofen. Be sure to clear this with your doctor before taking any sort of pain medication.

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