How Can Varicose Veins Be Treated?
There are many different tools used to treat vein problems
This is a technique where the vein is closed using radio frequency (RF) like microwaves. This heats the vein and closes it on itself. This is done while you are awake or sedated depending on your preference and your other medical conditions. A small plastic tube called a sheath is inserted in your vein (like an IV) and a thin flexible plastic and metal RF catheter is inserted. The vein is broken after injections of anesthetic around the vein and catheter. The catheter and sheath are then removed. Your legs are then wrapped and stocking are put on.
The ClosureFast™ procedure is a minimally invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to effectively treat
patients with varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Because the valves in the legs cannot be repaired,
the only alternative is to re-route the blood flow from the diseased veins to the healthy veins.
To do this, a vein specialist inserts a catheter into the diseased vein through a tiny incision below the knee. Guided by
ultrasound imaging, a vein specialist will treat the vein in 7 cm segments for 20 seconds each. The catheter delivers
consistent and uniform heat to contract the collagen in the vein walls, causing them to collapse and close. After the
vein is sealed shut, blood is then naturally redirected to healthy veins. The treated vein then becomes fibrous tissue and
will gradually be absorbed into surrounding tissue.
In sclerotherapy, your physician injects a chemical into your affected veins. The chemical scars your veins from the inside out so your abnormal veins can then no longer fill with blood. Blood that would normally return to the heart through these veins returns to the heart through other veins. Your body will eventually absorb the veins that received the injection.
There are approximately one million patients a year with wounds related to vein disease. These wounds are typically on the inside of the leg by the ankles. They are very difficult to heal, but proper wound therapy combined with procedures to treat vein disease improves healing dramatically. We work closely with wound centers to heal our patients faster.
Venography and Intravascular ultrasound
For many patients with chronic swelling and wounds, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) with and without venography is an important step in treatment. IVUS is the placement of a small diameter ultrasound catheter from the groin that takes an ultrasound picture of the inside of the blood vessel. This technique gives us remarkable detail of clots, webs, kinks and other problems that inhibit blood flow through the veins. If any of these are found, a stent or wire coil similar to these used in the heart will be placed to relieve the obstruction. This is an outpatient technique with patients usually going home the same day.
Compression therapy may take the form of tight stockings (knee high or thigh high), or wraps (similar to an ace bandage). Some clinics use a lymphedema pump. The purpose of compression is to reduce pain and swelling without the need for surgery, but is also used after a procedure to improve healing. It is very important that you use your compression stockings as directed after your procedure. If not used, the procedure can fail, resulting in the need to repeat it. We will give you a prescription for compression devices and a list of places where you can purchase them.