LASER CLOSURE (FOR VENOUS REFLUX/INSUFFICIENCY):
The surgeon will first perform a color duplex ultrasound to determine if the patient has venous reflux (blood flowing the wrong way due to incompetent valves.) If so, a new method using advanced laser technology may be used to close the defective vein. This procedure is called Endoluminal Ablation of the Saphenous Vein or ELAS.
This procedure is performed in one of our comfortable in-house surgical suites under a local anesthetic using a minimally invasive technique. We use both the Dornier and the Varilase Laser Systems, helping us to confidently provide the highest quality of care and safety in our vein closure procedures. Ultrasound guidance is used during the procedure assuring accuracy and comfort. A very small catheter is inserted into the faulty vein and laser energy is delivered to the vein wall, gently heating it causing a collapse and sealing of the vein. Once sealed, the blood no longer is flowing in the wrong direction and helps prevent varicose veins from forming. Other healthy veins in the leg will continue to provide the proper circulation. The faulty vein is gradually reabsorbed by the body.
AMBULATORY PHLEBECTOMY (REMOVAL VARICOSE VEINS):
Large varicose veins occurring with or without venous reflux can be removed using a procedure called an ambulatory phlebectomy. (This procedure is not the same as a "vein stripping" which requires general anesthesia and a hospital admission.)
This is also performed comfortably in our office using a local anesthetic. A bright fiber optic light called a Veinlite is used to map the vein accurately. Micro incisions are made in the leg and small, unhealthy sections of the vein are removed. No suturing is necessary.
This procedure may be done with the ELAS procedure or independently in two to four weeks after the ELAS if additional veins need to be removed.
Most patients report little, if any, discomfort during the procedure and find that Celebrex or Ibuprofen comfortably relieves any post operative pain they may have. Compression stockings are worn for approximately two weeks and most normal activities can be resumed as soon as one day after the procedure. Walking is encouraged and most exercise regimes can be fully resumed in 7 - 10 days.
Improvement in symptoms is usually seen in 1-2 weeks with good cosmetic outcomes and little to no scarring.
SCLEROTHERAPY (FOR SPIDER VEINS):
Spider veins are most often treated with sclerotherapy. This is a safe and effective means to eliminate approximately 80% of a patient's spider veins in approximately 2 to 4 treatments. Sclerotherapy is performed using a Veinlite to illuminate the veins and they are injected using a very small needle and a sclerosing agent. This medication causes irritation of the vein lining and clotting of the blood, resulting in an eventual sealing of the blood vessel, preventing it from filling with blood again. The vein eventually is reabsorbed by the body and fades away.
In some cases, the Dornier laser may also be used on very small spider veins.
Treating larger underlying segments of the saphenous veins can also help new spider veins from forming. These may also be treated using the sclerosant in a more concentrated form. The treated areas may bruise and become slightly tender. Support hose are required for 24 hours and then for an additional 2 weeks.
VEINWAVE TREATMENT (FOR SPIDER FACIAL and LEG VEINS):
Small leg and facial veins can be treated using the revolutionary new FDA-approved Veinwave system. This system uses thermocoagulation (emits a high frequency wave) to heat the inside of the blood vessel. A very fine nickel fiber is inserted just into the spider vein. The blood clots, the vessel lining deteriorates, and the vessel is eventually reabsorbed by the body. The advanced technology allows this to occur without damaging the outer layer of skin on the face. Moisturizer is used afterward for a fews days. Sun exposure should be avoided for 48 hours.
No compression stockings are needed after Veinwave therapy which makes it the ideal choice for hotter climates!