Misperception Blog Series: Vein Therapy Requires Surgery, General Anesthesia, and Prolonged Recovery
Painful surgeries and long recovery periods. These are just two of the many misconceptions that patients have about vein therapy. At Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, the top varicose vein treatment in Orlando provider, you’ll find that today’s treatments for varicose veins are minimally invasive, virtually painless, and cause almost no downtime for patients.
Today, the days of painful vein stripping are long gone, replaced with the state-of-the-art technological advances that make treating varicose veins much simpler, safer, and easier. Nevertheless, there are an abundance of misconceptions still existing, and we hear about them from our patients almost every single day. So read on to see what other misconceptions about vein therapy that we can dispel for you.
- Varicose Vein Treatment Requires Vein Stripping Surgery. The old way of eliminating varicose veins was vein stripping, a surgical procedure done under general or local anesthesia. Vein stripping involves making one or more incisions in the desired area, usually the groin or leg, followed by insertion of a special wire into the vein. Thankfully, this procedure is obsolete, replaced by minimally invasive procedures that cause little pain and have a quick recovery time, such as Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) and Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGS). In fact, many patients go in to the doctor’s office for a quick outpatient procedure and then go home shortly after.
- Varicose Vein Treatment Requires a Long Recovery. Because many people still think vein stripping is the primary treatment for varicose veins, they naturally envision the longer recovery that this procedure required. The reality is that with no general anesthesia, no stitches, and no hospital stay, the downtime is minimal and the recovery time is short, with patients being able to walk immediately after the procedure and returning to work or their normal activities the very next day. No 14-day recovery times here!
- Varicose Vein Treatment Requires Patients Go Under General Anesthesia. Most procedures require only local anesthesia, which means patients aren’t struggling with an anesthesia fog and are at a significantly lower risk for anesthesia complications.
- Varicose Vein Treatment Requires Patients to be Admitted to the Hospital. In the past, patients equated vein procedures with hospital stays, but as previously mentioned, today’s treatments all are outpatient procedures. With Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, we’ll perform your procedure in the comfort of our offices, and you won’t have to eat any of that nasty hospital food.
- Only Elderly Women Get Varicose Veins. This is a particularly troublesome misconception, especially if you are a younger women or a man of any age. Perhaps the worst way to handle any medical condition is to ignore it because you don’t believe you fit the mold for people who have it, and venous insufficiency, the cause of varicose veins, is no different. Varicose veins can occur in anyone regardless of gender or age. While age and heredity do play a role in the development of venous insufficiency and varicose veins, anyone can develop the condition, even teenagers. In fact, athletes are a specific target of varicose veins because of the additional stress they put on their legs, for example, through weight lifting, and/or because of the repetitive leg motions they perform, as with cyclists. The truth is that about 25 million people in the United States have varicose veins in their legs and that by age 60, 70% of women and 40% of men will suffer from venous reflux. Of course, there are other risk factors at play for vein disease, including obesity, an occupation that requires prolonged standing, and pregnancy.
- Spider Veins Equal Varicose Veins. Spider veins and varicose veins often are paired together, and although it’s easy to see why there is confusion, the two conditions are very different. In fact, the cause, appearance and medical implications of spider veins are very different from varicose veins. Spider veins are tiny, dilated blood vessels that appear just below the skin’s surface, typically on the face, neck, chest and legs, causing a spider-like appearance, hence the name. Although spider veins are common, they are primarily a cosmetic concern and not a medical issue.
- Without Bulging Veins, There’s No Problem. Just because the veins aren’t visibly bulging doesn’t mean that the problem doesn’t exist. At Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, we use diagnostic vascular ultrasound to perform a noninvasive examination to determine whether the patient has venous reflux. While varicose veins are something we all wish we didn’t have to see, the underlying cause is not visible to the naked eye. The venous reflux test is performed in an outpatient setting and usually takes between 20 and 60 minutes to complete. Because it is performed for the sole purpose of obtaining a diagnosis, it is most often covered by medical insurance. After the venous reflux test, we are able to determine what treatment options are most appropriate to consider based on the results of your ultrasound examination.
- You Have to Have Bulging Veins to Have Varicose Vein Problems. This fallacy is very similar to the last one. The distinction to be made here is that some people are ignoring key symptoms of venous insufficiency, such as leg ulcers, skin irritation, and leg fatigue, cramping, swelling, and heaviness. If you have any of these symptoms and find yourself writing them off because of your job, work schedule, or age, then it’s time to come in and get the situation checked out.
- People Who Seek Treatment for Varicose Veins Are, Well, Vain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Venous insufficiency is a real disease that can have serious consequences if not treated, like eczema, skin ulcerations, and bleeding. This is not a cosmetic condition. It’s a medical condition.
We all have misconceptions about some things. But don’t let misconceptions about venous conditions and treatments stop you from receiving a simple solution to your painful varicose veins. For varicose vein treatment in Orlando, please call Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547 today to set up a consultative appointment.