While varicose veins are a common condition, for most people they are more of a nuisance than a serious disease. The average person with varicose veins thinks of them primarily as a cosmetic problem, and if they consider removal, it’s mainly to get rid of the enlarged, gnarly veins so they can wear shorts once more. That’s not the case with the most serious varicose vein sufferers. For them, varicose veins are truly debilitating.
Fortunately, there are new procedures that can help these victims get back to a normal life.
Varicose veins result from the valves within them no longer function properly. The blood that should flow directly to the heart becomes impeded and pools within the vein, causing the enlargement. People with varicose vein disease may experience severe leg swelling, skin discoloration, pain and ulcer development on their legs. Walking becomes more difficult and overall mobility is impaired. Other symptoms include itching, throbbing and aching.
For many people, varicose veins run in the family. Other causes of or risk factors for varicose veins include:
One solution for these types of varicose vein sufferers involves Varithena, a prescription medication also known as polidocanol, approved by the FDA in late 2013. The doctor injects Varithena, in foam form, into the affected veins via ultrasound guidance. The injection causes the vein wall to collapse shortly thereafter. The vein closes by itself within several days as the result of the inflammatory response. Blood then starts following up and out of the legs through nearby healthy veins.
This minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure takes about 20 minutes, and patients go home that same day. Because no surgery is involved, patients do not require general sedation, and receive only a local anesthetic. All but the most strenuous activities can be resumed immediately, and patients are generally cleared for heavy exercise or lifting within one week. Patients are encouraged to walk as much as possible to increase blood flow. Expect to wear compression stockings on the affected leg for at least two weeks, and possibly longer depending on the doctor’s instructions.
Side effects are mild, and usually consist of bruising at the injection site or mild discomfort. Most patients find relief from their varicose vein problems right away after treatment with Varithena. If symptoms persist for more than a day or two, contact your doctor.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!
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