Recovery Time & Varicose Veins: Get Back to Living Life Immediately
Too many people put off or indefinitely forego treating their varicose veins because they are worried about the amount of time they’ll be in recovery from the procedure performed. This is quite a shame because treatment procedures performed at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center, home of John D. Horowitz, MD, FACS, who is perhaps the best vascular physician in Orlando, require very little recovery time.
Patients dealing with varicose veins typically suffer from the many symptoms that can accompany them, such as feelings of pain and heaviness centered in the legs, unsightly multi-colored twisted, cord-like bulges on the knees and ankles, and swelling of the lower legs. So, the last thing you’d want to do is put off varicose vein treatment to eliminate these veins and their unwanted side effects.
Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center performs several different procedures to eradicate varicose veins and let you get back to living life immediately. The main procedures include sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a saline solution or chemical into the varicose vein to cause it to seal up and eventually disappear. Another innovative procedure is endovascular laser ablation, which utilizes thermal energy to treat varicose veins. Both treatments are minimally invasive and allow the patient to resume normal daily activities almost immediately. In some cases, patients need to follow simple recovery procedures including wearing compression stockings or bandages, elevating legs as directed, and walking each day.
What’s more, both treatment procedures are a significant improvement over the much more invasive ligation and stripping surgery that used to be the go-to way to get rid of varicose veins. Unfortunately, there are still many doctors who are not aware of the superiority of the newer procedures and go this route with their patients, causing significantly greater downtime, typically in the one-week range.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the various treatment options, starting with three variations of sclerotherapy, which is a tried and true procedure for superficial veins, also called spider veins, as well as for varicose veins in some cases. Sclerotherapy uses a sclerosing agent, usually a saline or chemical solution, which is injected into the veins. The sclerosant makes the veins close up and seal shut. The only pain the patient may experience is some slight discomfort at the site of the injection. What’s more, there is virtually no downtime for the patient with this type of procedure.
One particular type of sclerotherapy is Veinlite-guided sclerotherapy. The Veinlite vein finder, a special illumination device, is clinically proven to improve accuracy. The vascular surgeon uses the Veinlite to help locate the source of superficial veins through transillumination of the entire vascular structure, which causes even the tiniest of vessels to become visible. Using this device, the medical professional quickly and accurately pinpoints the vein’s feeder vessels, reticular veins, so that they can be injected with the sclerosing agent.
Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy employs an ultrasound to locate the complete vein structure rather than an external illumination device. Particularly useful for treating medium and large varicose veins, UGS employs a system in which the vascular surgeon adds air, or another gas, to the sclerosing agent. This creates a foam that is then injected into the varicose vein, which causes the vein to react by collapsing. Perhaps the best part is that the body then harmlessly absorbs the collapsed vein, which means there’s no visible scarring. Typically, this technique requires more than one treatment to completely eradicate the varicose vein, but the patient is left with outstanding long-term cosmetic results.
Next, let’s take a look at laser therapy, another varicose-vein treatment innovation:
Endovenous laser treatment therapy is another option offered at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center. EVLT, which also is minimally invasive, uses thermal energy, heat, to treat varicose veins. Like sclerotherapy, it involves incisions made by a needle, with a small catheter inserted into the vein. At the tip of the catheter is a laser fiber through which the thermal energy is delivered. As with the UGS procedure, an ultrasound device ensures precision placement of the heat. Also, as with UGS, only small incisions are what make this procedure minimally invasive. Fortunately, the patient does not need general anesthesia as EVLT is performed under a local anesthesia, which also contributes to a speedy recovery, with the patient being able to resume normal daily activities within a day or two, although it may be necessary to wear a prescription or over-the-counter leg wrap or compression stocking for one or two weeks. Whatever minimal pain he or she experiences during the recovery typically will be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller. Still, the majority of patients find that they can walk immediately post-procedure, and most are able to return to work the following day.
So, What’s Best for You?
All of these procedures are tested are proven effective. But because each case is different, the vein specialists at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center can advise you on which treatment options may be best for you. The important takeaway from this is to know that you can get treatment for your varicose veins, regardless of which of these procedures you end of having, and not have to spend a long time in recovery. In fact, you should be able to get back to living your normal lifestyle pretty much immediately.
So, if you are living with venous insufficiency and varicose veins, we invite you to check out firsthand the treatment options currently offered by our vascular surgery practice. Contact Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center today at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547 to get more information on your options for varicose veins treatment and to set up an initial consultation with the top vascular physician in Orlando, Dr. John D. Horowitz.