Varicose veins don't always need treatment, but if they are large, they may cause you pain, itching, or a feeling of heaviness in your legs. If your veins are bothersome, you should consider undergoing treatment to get relief. This is how your doctor may go about treating large varicose veins.
At one time, varicose vein treatments involved surgery that stripped the veins out of your leg. Now there are gentler treatment methods your doctor can consider. These have a lower risk of side effects and are easier to endure. One of them is the laser treatment. Your doctor can use a laser to zap smaller veins through the surface of your skin. For larger veins, your doctor has to insert a laser fiber into the vein itself. This requires a tiny incision, and you may be given an anesthetic in the area to prevent discomfort during the procedure. However, you'll be awake and alert throughout the process.
Once the laser is inside the vein, the doctor zaps the vein with the laser as the fiber is pulled through the vein. This causes damage that leads to inflammation and swelling that closes off the vein. It will take a few weeks, but eventually, your body absorbs the dead vein, and it gradually disappears. You don't have to worry about circulation problems because there are other, deeper veins that keep blood flowing through your leg.
Ablation is a treatment very similar to the laser treatment, except it uses radio-frequency waves rather than a laser. A catheter is passed into the varicose vein, and as it is pulled out, the radio waves heat up the vein and damage it. The damage causes the vein to die and be reabsorbed so it vanishes. While laser treatments and ablation are preferred over stripping in many cases today, the only drawback to them is that it takes a few weeks to see results, while stripping removes the veins immediately.
Ablation is usually done on deeper veins, rather than surface veins. Because the entire vein may be difficult to see, your doctor will probably do an ultrasound before beginning treatment. The ultrasound is like a map of the veins in your leg. It helps your doctor pinpoint all the problem veins, and it also guides him or her when inserting the catheter or laser fiber during the treatment.
Recovering from these vein treatments is usually quicker and less problematic than recovering from stripping surgery. However, you may still need to wear compression stockings for several days. Your doctor may want you to move and walk around frequently to help prevent clotting. If you only have one or two problem veins, your treatment might be completed in a single session. If you have several varicose veins, or if you want to remove spider veins at the same time, you may need multiple sessions to clear up your legs. While the treated veins won't return, it's possible you'll develop other varicose veins in the future, and you can have those treated in the same way if they bother you. For more information on varicose vein treatment, contact a company like Alaska Vein Care.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.