What are varicose veins?
There are valves within the veins that allow the blood to travel only in one direction (back to the heart). When valves in the leg veins become incompetent (leaky), blood is not easily returned to the heart. This causes pooling of blood, especially in a person who must stand for prolonged periods. As a result the veins become larger and more prominent. This problem is known as varicose veins.
Not only are varicose unsightly but they can be extremely painful. Furthermore, the pooling of blood in the legs can lead to formation of ulcers that are very difficult to heal.
How is this treated?
Traditionally, diseased veins are either surgically removed or “stripped”. An alternative to surgery is sclerotherapy where a substance is injected into the vein which causes it to fibrose (close off). The remaining healthy veins can provide adequate passage of blood.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
Recently, a new, minimally invasive technique of treating varicose veins, known as endovenous laser treatment, has been developed. The treatment uses a catheter in the vein to deliver energy to vein tissue causing destruction of the vein from within. The treatment is perfomed under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office. Data show that this method works at least as well as surgical stripping without as much pain and with improved quality of life.
For further information, you can ask Dr. Ferzli.