What are the treatments for varicose veins?
There are a number of excellent treatment modalities available for varicose and spider veins. Generally, the smallest veins are injected with a sclerosing solution while the larger are micro-surgically removed. Recent development of newer techniques and devices have made the removal of varicose veins and spider veins much simpler and very effective.
Surgical removal is minimally invasive, usually performed in the office under mild sedation and local anesthesia. More complex cases are performed in an outpatient surgical center under intravenous conscious sedation and local anesthesia.
Patients are encouraged to ambulate immediately after the procedure. Many return to work within one to three days.
What is radiofrequency endovenous ablation (Venefit Closure)?
Radiofrequency endovenous ablation (Venefit Closure) is a well-established procedure that provides a minimally invasive, highly effective outpatient alternative to greater saphenous vein stripping. The 30 minute procedure is performed in the office with local anesthesia. A slender catheter is inserted into the greater saphenous vein below the knee through a tiny puncture wound.
The catheter delivers radiofrequency thermal energy to the wall of the vein causing it to collapse and seal shut. The quality of the local anesthetic technique ensures a painless experience to the patient.
The treated leg is either wrapped with an elastic bandage, or a compression stocking is applied. Most patients resume normal activity immediately.
The Venefit Closure has a 99% success rate in closing the greater saphenous vein.
What is ambulatory phlebectomy (vein micro-extraction)?
The term “phlebectomy” means to surgically remove veins. It applies to all methods of extracting varicose veins. “Ambulatory phlebectomy” is also referred to as “micro-phlebectomy”. It simply means that the varicose veins are removed through tiny 1 to 2 mm incisions.
It is quite surprising how easy it is to remove very large varicosities through these tiny incisions. Specialized surgical instruments, high intensity lighting, and magnification is required. No sutures are required. Because the incisions are so tiny, they are imperceptible after 3 to 4 months.
What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a safe, proven, and effective nonsurgical procedure used to treat various sizes of varicose veins. A specially trained physician or technician performs this procedure using a tiny needle to inject an FDA approved sclerosing agent. The Modesto Vein Center uses Asclera or Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate (STS) as it’s sclerosing agents.
Sclerotherapy is performed as an outpatient procedure. No anesthesia is used. There is no pretreatment preparation. Patients can immediately resume normal activity after leaving the office.
The treatment is not painful but individual injections can cause a slight burning sensation, similar to an insect bite for a few seconds. The number of treatments required varies greatly from patient to patient. Several visits, usually 30 to 35 minutes long are scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart.
Effectively treated varicose veins do not grow back. However, there are patients for whom varicose veins are a recurring problem. We cannot alter the causes. There is no avoiding heredity and aging. However, eliminating varicosities actually improves blood flow by redirecting the blood to the healthy veins. Sclerotherapy not only achieves cosmetic improvement, but also improves circulation, resulting in significant symptomatic relief.
What is ligation and stripping?
Vein ligation and stripping is the surgical removal of large varicose veins. It is an extremely effective method of extracting unwanted and useless superficial veins. The Modesto Vein Center uses outpatient minimally invasive techniques when performing this procedure. Local anesthesia or conscious sedation (“twilight sleep”) may be used. Patients are encouraged to ambulate immediately and resume their normal activities the following day.
Since the advent of the highly effective radiofrequency Venefit Closure thermal catheter, ligation and stripping of the greater saphenous vein is now infrequently performed. This surgical technique now is only used when the veins are extremely large.
What are possible complications?
Most vein procedures are straightforward and easily performed without complications. However, no procedure has a 100% success rate or is performed with zero risk. Possible complications include unexpected bleeding, localized infection, scarring, and occasional nerve damage. Mild brownish pigmentation occurs in some areas however usually resolves within several months.
We are committed to performing all vein procedures with a technical proficiency that minimizes or eliminates visible damage to your skin.
Does insurance cover my treatments?
In most cases insurance companies will pay for the treatment of the major vein disorders. This includes surgical procedures, Venefit Closure treatments, ligation and stripping, micro-surgical procedures as well as consultations and ultrasound examinations. Cosmetic sclerotherapy is NOT covered by most insurance companies. If you have any questions please call our office.