4 Ways Varicose Vein Treatment Has Changed
Treatment options for varicose veins nowadays are quick and easy, but this wasn’t always the case. Medical research is always pushing the limits of what we know about health issues and treatments. What may have seemed like a breakthrough approach years ago can become outdated as research turns up newer, safer options. Varicose vein treatment has undergone this transformation, and treatment options are now more effective than ever. Today, patients can experience relief from varicose veins without having to schedule an invasive, painful surgery. Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, home to the best vascular surgeons in Orlando, utilizes these new, minimally invasive treatments to help improve our patient’s venous health and leave them feeling confident about their legs again. We would like to share the ways that these treatments have changed for the better over the years.
- Ultrasound Surveillance
One of the most critical parts of venous treatment is being able to properly diagnose the state of venous reflux, as well as monitor the state of the veins post-procedure. Naturally, you wouldn’t want your physician to be treating your veins without any solid idea of what those veins actually looked like! Getting a picture of your veins gives a physician a map that they can use to plan the best treatment option possible, as well as keep an eye for any underlying problems that may not be visible to the eye.
Ultrasound has become the tool that draws that map of your veins. Ultrasound surveillance has been a common way for a physician to keep an eye on your venous health, from the first consultation all the way through to the end of your treatment. The best part: ultrasounds aren’t painful, and monitoring veins in this fashion is generally easy and stress-free.
Sclerotherapy today involves injecting a solution, such as saline, into the varicose vein. This solution irritates the vein, causing it to scar and then fade. Patients may experience some stinging during the procedure but the discomfort is brief. The concept of sclerotherapy has not changed much over the years, but there has been extensive experimentation with injected solutions.
The concept for the procedure goes back further than you may think—it’s thought that the precursor to sclerotherapy dates back to 460BC when Hippocrates wrote of introducing iron to the vein to cause it to coagulate. This concept continued through the development of the hypodermic syringe by Rynd in 1845, and medical professionals afterward experimented with a wide variety of solutions for the procedure—including alcohol, iodine, and mercury—before settling on saline or salt often used today.
- Endovenous Laser Treatment
Sometimes medical procedures are tweaked slightly for improvement. Sometimes brand new procedures are invented instead. Endovenous laser treatment, often referred to as EVLT, is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins that has quickly become a standard. For this treatment, a physician will insert a small tube or catheter into the damaged vein. Heat is then delivered inside the vein, which causes it to collapse and close. The blood in the vein is then routed to other, healthier veins. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and patients experience minimal downtime afterward.
Before EVLT, there was vein stripping. A doctor would make an incision in the groin, tie off the damaged vein, and then thread a stripper tool through the vein. The vein would be removed through another incision in the calf. This procedure could be painful, required general anesthesia, and risked tearing nearby veins in the process. While vein stripping is still practiced in cases where minimally invasive treatments aren’t the best option for a patient’s needs, it has become the norm to utilize less stressful options like EVLT.
- High Success Rates
For a patient, often one of the largest concerns is whether the procedure will be successful. There’s no longer a big need to worry about success rates for varicose vein treatment—with all these improvements, treatments are generally successful. Recent studies show that two years after treatment, 90% of treated varicose veins have remained closed. If success rates are something you’re concerned about, please speak to a specialist—everyone is different and what works great for one person may not work for another. A specialist will be willing to discuss what may be the most successful option for you so that you can enjoy life without venous insufficiency.
As you can see, treatment for varicose veins has come a long way over time. Procedures have become safer, more successful, and more comfortable for the patient. Varicose veins run the risk of becoming a worse condition later, so it’s ideal that patients are able to feel safe and at ease with undergoing treatment. Patients shouldn’t be discouraged from seeking treatment because of being under the impression that staying with varicose veins is less stressful than removing them. This has never been further from reality. Many patients now walk out of their specialist’s office the same day as the procedure, confident that they made the best choice for themselves and their venous health.
The best vascular surgeons in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center have kept up with technological advancements to offer the best treatment possible to our patients. We utilize ultrasound to fully understand a patient’s needs, we offer sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment to treat a patient’s varicose veins, and our patients enjoy their results post-procedure. Our team has dedicated themselves to the treatment of venous insufficiencies such as varicose veins and spider veins, and we offer the best treatment available so that our patients can enjoy the best results possible. If you want to learn more about potential treatment options and the new headway treatments have been making, please schedule a consultation with one of our specialists by calling 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547. We will work with you to form a treatment plan that is best suited for your veins. You can also browse through our blog for more detailed information about varicose veins and the current treatment options available.