Let’s face it: Varicose veins are downright unattractive and embarrassing. To top off their negative impact on your appearance, these purple-blue, bulging, twisted veins can cause pain, itching, and aching. But that’s not where the problems stop.
Varicose veins are much more than a cosmetic problem. They are the visible signs that you may have a serious vein disease, venous insufficiency, that disrupts normal blood flow. Without treatment, venous insufficiency gets worse and causes potentially serious complications, like blood clots and non-healing leg ulcers.
At Memphis Vein Center, vascular specialist Kishore K. Arcot, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FSVM, RPVI, offers four treatments that eliminate varicose veins, restore healthy blood flow, stop your leg symptoms, and prevent complications.
Each treatment takes a different approach, making it easy for just about anyone to get rid of varicose veins at any stage. Here’s what you need to know about the treatment options.
Sclerotherapy treats varicose veins (and smaller spider veins) by injection of a medication called a sclerosant. The medication comes in two forms, a liquid and one that turns into a foam as it goes into the veins.
The liquid sclerosant works for spider veins and small varicose veins. The foam expands to reach the vein walls, making it a better treatment for moderate to large varicose veins.
After entering the vein, the sclerosant makes the vein walls collapse and turn into scar tissue. Your body goes into action, clearing away the scar tissue and gradually eliminating all signs of varicose veins. At the same time, the blood flow naturally reroutes to a nearby healthy vein.
This solves your venous problems, eliminating unsightly veins and also getting rid of the underlying venous insufficiency that disrupted blood flow.
This treatment also uses a medication to collapse the veins, but it uses an innovative delivery technique. ClariVein is an advanced infusion catheter that delivers the medication using a rotating tip at the end of the catheter.
We make a pinprick opening in the vein, insert the ClariVein catheter into the varicose vein, and advance it through the vein. As we slowly remove the catheter, the rotating wire disperses the medicine, ensuring it thoroughly covers the vessel walls and makes them collapse.
After the walls collapse, your body goes through the same process as it does following sclerotherapy (removing the scar tissue and sending blood through other veins).
Endovenous laser ablation therapy (EVLT)
EVLT uses laser energy to seal the veins and make them collapse. We perform this treatment using a catheter (thin, flexible tube) carrying a tiny laser. We make a very small cut, just large enough to insert the catheter into a blood vessel.
Using real-time imaging to see your veins and the catheter, we guide the device through your blood vessels and to the end of your varicose veins.
For the next step, we slowly withdraw the catheter while simultaneously sending controlled laser energy into the vein walls. The laser makes the vein walls collapse and turn into scar tissue that your body eliminates.
Like sclerotherapy and ClariVein treatments, your body naturally restores circulation by sending the blood through healthy vessels.
Microphlebectomy, also called ambulatory phlebectomy, is an outpatient procedure to remove large varicose veins. We apply a local anesthetic, make a small cut above the vein, and use a small surgical hook to reach in and grab the vein. Then we remove the vein by gently pulling it out.
The access cuts are so small you don’t need stitches. Although you need to wear compression stockings and avoid strenuous activities for a week or two, you may return to your usual activities as soon as we finish the procedure.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for your varicose veins. Call our Memphis, Tennessee, center or request an appointment online today.