Varicose veins are very common, especially in women and people more than 50 years old. They are usually seen on the lower legs, knees and ankles as swollen, blue, twisted cords. In the past, the only way to get rid of them was surgery, but this is no longer the case. In most cases, a simple, minimally-invasive treatment can be used for safe and effective varicose vein removal.
Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which our specialist injects a solution called a sclerosant directly into a small or medium-sized varicose vein. The solution irritates the vein, wall causing it to collapse. The blood that was formerly passing into the affected vein will begin to flow through healthy veins. Over time, the vein will be absorbed by your body and completely disappear. This can be done in the comfort of our office and usually doesn’t require any type of anesthesia.
Lasers are also used to send strong bursts of light into the affected vein. This also irritates the vein wall and makes it collapse. Lasers are especially useful as a treatment to remove spider veins, the small veins that appear just under the skin as bluish, red spider webs.
Lasers and radiofrequency may also be used with a catheter for larger veins. First, the catheter is inserted into the vein through a tiny opening and the laser or radiofrequency fiber is inserted into the catheter. The catheter is then gently pulled out and the heat collapses and seals the vein shut.
There are several causes for varicose veins, starting with heredity. If one or both of your parents had varicose veins, there is a good chance you will too. Other causes are:
Obesity – excess weight puts pressure on the veins in the legs and makes it harder for the heart to pump the blood up the legs against gravity. This gradually weakens the veins so they no longer function properly. The blood starts to pool in the veins and eventually stretches the weakened vein.
Pregnancy – this may also cause varicose veins for the same reason as obesity, but they may go away after delivery, depending on the situation.
Prolonged standing and sitting – standing for long hours without relief will weaken the veins in the legs, and sitting for prolonged hours will have the same effect as the circulation is cut.
If you have varicose veins and were avoiding the long process of surgery and recovery for varicose vein removal, you are in luck. Talk to our specialist at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida to learn about your options regarding varicose vein removal treatments. With several minimally-invasive treatments from which to choose, you may have clear legs again and no longer need to hide your veins with clothing.
Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida is located in Fort Myers. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for varicose vein removal!