Most people seek treatment for varicose veins when they want to improve their appearance or when the large, bulging veins cause leg pain, itchy legs, or leg swelling.
But there's another reason to consider treatment: Varicose veins are early signs of an underlying vein disease that can lead to serious complications.
At the Memphis Vein Center, board-certified cardiologist Kishore Arcot, MD, evaluates the severity of your varicose veins and recommends the best treatment. Eliminating your varicose veins restores the appearance of your legs while also getting rid of vein disease and restoring healthy circulation.
When it's time to permanently eliminate your varicose veins, we offer four of today's top treatments, all performed as outpatient procedures in our office.
Endovenous laser ablation
Endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive procedure using a catheter. Before starting the procedure, we perform ultrasound imaging and map the veins we plan to treat.
We apply a topical anesthetic and make a tiny cut that lets us insert the catheter into your vein. After gently guiding the catheter to the end of the varicose vein, we inject a tumescent anesthesia, then slowly withdraw the catheter while simultaneously activating a laser in the catheter's tip.
Heat from the laser makes the vein walls collapse without affecting the surrounding tissues. After the veins collapse, they turn into scar tissue. Over time, your body clears away the tissue, and your varicose veins gradually disappear.
Your body naturally reroutes blood through other healthy veins. Since the damaged veins are gone and normal circulation is restored, your symptoms improve, preventing or eliminating complications due to venous insufficiency, the condition that causes varicose veins.
An endovenous laser ablation typically takes about an hour or less, depending on the extent of your varicose veins. You may walk around right after your procedure and can return to most of your daily activities after you leave our office, but you should avoid prolonged sitting and strenuous athletic activities.
Sclerotherapy is an injectable treatment for eliminating varicose veins. We inject a specialized medication (sclerosing agent) into your varicose veins. The medication makes the vein walls swell, stick together, and turn into scar tissue.
Then your body gets rid of the tissue and restores circulation by sending blood through other nearby veins.
We use a liquid sclerosing medication for small to moderately sized veins.But we can also treat large varicose veins using a foam medication. The foam expands inside the vein, ensuring the medication reaches all of the walls.
After your treatment, you wear compression stockings for a short time. The veins typically disappear in a few weeks, but it may take a month or longer to eliminate larger veins.
ClariVein is the name of a specialized infusion catheter that eliminates varicose veins using a technique called mechanochemical ablation (MOCA). The procedure uses an extremely thin catheter that enters the vein through a tiny puncture in your skin.
Using ultrasound imaging to see your veins, we advance the catheter to the end of your varicose veins. Then we slowly pull the catheter back out of the vein while activating the catheter to treat the vein.
The catheter has a rotating tip that does two things. It mechanically destroys the vein while also sending out a sclerosing agent that makes the veins stick together. Like the first two procedures, your body reroutes blood flow and clears away the treated veins.
When this treatment is finished, you don't need compression stockings. We simply cover the entry point with a steri-strip, and you're ready to go home.
Microphlebectomy is different from the first three procedures because we physically remove the varicose veins rather than make them collapse. We make a tiny cut above the vein and use a specialized instrument to reach through the cut, get hold of the vein, and gently pull it out.
This procedure doesn't require stitches or a local anesthesia. We often recommend microphlebectomy for large varicose veins that are near the surface.
To learn more about your treatment options for varicose veins, call us at the Memphis Vein Center in Memphis, Tennessee, or request an appointment online today.