Most patients dread having to undergo surgery to deal with their varicose veins. However, this is no longer an issue in this era. Thanks to developments in the last ten years, there have been techniques developed to treat varicose veins without surgery.
The main benefit of minimally invasive treatment is that patients do not need to go into theatre. The entire treatment takes place inside the clinic and they can go home on their own later. It also helps to avoid the pain that comes with saphenous vein stripping during and after surgery.
Non Surgical Treatment Options for Varicose Veins Include:
1. VNUS Closure
This procedure uses a wire that passes along the knee starting at the knee or calf. It is directed towards the groin and is used to treat large varicose veins that might form in the thigh. The wire’s progression is monitored with the aid of ultrasound imaging. When the wire gets to the end, its end is heated up using electricity and this destroys the vein. It is then gradually taken out of the leg until the entire vein has been destroyed.
The main benefit is that there is no vein stripping. Thus, there is less bruising and discomfort once the operation is done.
Treatment often takes place using local anaesthesia. As a result, there is no need to use general anaesthetic, which often comes with some risks.
The technique entails the heating of a vein, which can be painful without local anaesthetic being injected around the vein. Alternatively, the operation could be done using general anaesthesia to lessen the pain.
The method only works for superficial veins. Prominent varicose vein might still need to be treated using surgery. Alternatively, it might need to be managed using foam sclerotherapy.
The procedure is not recommended where there is a recurrent varicose vein from previous surgery.
Nerves near the skin could suffer thermal damage due to the heat used during the procedure.
2. Endo-Venous Laser Ablation (EVLA)
The method works much like VNUS Closure. However, instead of a heating element, a laser fiber is placed inside the vein form the knee or calf towards the groin. It is also used to treat large varicose veins that are present in the thigh. Wire progression is done with the aid of ultrasound imaging. When in position, the laser fires and it destroys the vein with heat. Slowly, the laser fiber is taken out as it heath the vein and destroys until the entire vein is destroyed.
There is no vein stripping, which reduces the discomfort after the procedure. With modern laser technology, the results look similar to using VNUS Closure.
It can be done using local anaesthetic, which helps to avoid general anaesthesia.
The technique will entail heating a vein, which can be painful unless it is done using local anaesthetic. An alternative is to use general anaesthesia during the operation.
The cost is usually quite high compared to getting surgery since the equipment used is expensive to purchase and maintain.
The method can only be used to treat large superficial veins. However, there are incisions that will need to be made in order to get rid of the varicose veins.
The technique cannot be used to treat recurring varicose veins which have already undergone surgery.
There is always the risk of nerve damage due to the heat used to treat the varicose vein.
3. Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
The method is a great alternative to surgery and is effective for treating large varicose veins. The surface vein is injected with foam under the guidance of ultrasound. This special foam will then destroy the lining of the vein. After that, a firm bandage will be applied to the leg. This treatment procedure is great for treating the surface veins and the varicose veins. There is no need for going to a theatre. The entire process takes place in the consulting room or the treatment room. The injection will cause little or no discomfort.
Stripping the vein can be avoided and there is almost no discomfort once treatment is done.
There is little bruising once the procedure is over.
No general anaesthesia is needed for the procedure, an incision, or a theatre.
Re-treatment for nay relapse is easy and fast.
The cost of getting treatment is much less than going for surgery, laser treatment, or VNUS Closure.
There is a higher risk of relapse compared to other procedures.
There is a risk of brown staining of the skin.
The risk of developing lumps during the healing process under the skin.
4. Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy
This is a minimally invasive treatment method for dealing with varicose vein. The produce entails using radiofrequency energy to damage tissue and causes scarring. The scarring causes the damaged veins to close up.
To use this procedure, the radiofrequency energy is sent via a thin tube known as the catheter inserted via a tiny incision in the vein. It can be utilised for large veins using local anaesthesia. After the procedure, you can go home.
You might need to wear compression socks for a week after the procedure. The doctor performs an ultrasound to monitor how well the vein has closed up.
The Side Effects
A major side effect of this procedure is feeling pain or burning after you recover. There is also a small risk of nerve damage, which is less likely with stripping. Some blood clotting might form in the veins, which is less likely with stripping surgery.
The more experience that a clinic has, the less likely you are to suffer the side effects. Talk to the doctor to find out their success rates. A good clinic should be able to give you the details.
How well it Works
Radiofrequency ablation has a success rate of about 88 percent. Thus, about 12 in 100 people will not benefit from the procedure. Pain is usually less than when you undergo vein surgery.
The benefit of the procedure is that veins, which do not close, can be treated again. You can choose this same procedure or choose another option.
5. Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are not for everyone. However, they can be used to provide relief for some. Before you use the socks, you have to undergo a Doppler investigation. This helps to check blood circulation.
The stockings are designed to slowly squeeze the legs, helping to improve circulation. They are tight at the ankles buy loose up the leg. The aim is to direct blood flow towards the heart.
They are not very effective in treating varicose veins. However, they do help to reduce pain and discomfort. They can also prevent swelling of the legs caused by varicose veins.
When you are pregnant with varicose veins, you can be offered these socks for the pregnancy period. After birth, you can then go for treatment of the varicose veins. If you have problems with valves in the deep veins of your legs, you might need to wear the socks for the rest of your life.
Treatment for Thread Veins Includes
1. Creams and Pills
For thread veins, various pills and creams can be rubbed on the skin to end them.
Some of the pills help to reduce aching that occurs due to varicose veins.
No medication that can get rid of varicose veins no matter what the ads say.
2. Laser Treatment for Thread Veins
This will work well on the upper body and face. In the legs, it is not as effective compared to injection treatment. Most leading experts on vein treatment will not use laser treatment to manage thread veins that occur in the lower body.
How to Decide Whether You Need Treatment
If you think that you might need varicose vein treatment, ask yourself some important questions. For instance, ask about the clinic’s experience. You can also ask about the cost of consultation and the actual procedure. This way, you will understand whether you can afford it and if will succeed. You should also understand how many treatments you might need.
There is no magical cure for varicose veins. The surgical treatment is one of the surest ways to treat large varicose veins. Microscelrotherapy can also be effective in treating thread veins. VNUS Closure and EVLA laser treatment are great options for large varicose veins. They help to ensure only small incisions will be made while reducing bruising after the operation. They are more costly compared to using surgery.
Foam sclerotherapy, guided by ultrasound is useful in those who do not want any type of surgery. The results might take longer to achieve but there is no hospital admission or general anaesthesia used.
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