Varicose veins are uncomfortable. They throb. They ache. They cause leg cramps and restless leg. Still, many people with varicose veins avoid seeing a vein specialist due to the idea that vein treatment is painful. If you are living with varicose veins and they are getting in the way of your best life, we want to put your fears about treatment to rest. The days of “vein stripping” are long gone. Today, there are multiple ways to eliminate the frustrating symptoms of varicose veins and none of them can be described as painful.
The Reality of Varicose Vein Removal
Many people still think of varicose vein treatment as “vein removal.” Years ago, the process of treating varicose veins involved general anesthesia. An operating room. Weeks of recovery. Nothing to look forward to, really. Today, varicose vein treatment is much less dramatic. Treatments are conducted in our office. They do not involve surgery. In fact, veins are rarely physically removed. In most cases, veins are simply closed using a chemical or radiofrequency energy that gently heats vessels to close them. Each of these treatments is virtually painless. This is because veins have no nerve endings. The only sensation a patient typically feels is the poke of the tiny needle used to administer local anesthetic.
Most vein treatments are nonsurgical and barely invasive. However, it is necessary for a vein specialist to have a comprehensive selection of treatment options. Some patients are best served by a procedure called ambulatory phlebectomy. This is a type of vein removal (versus vein closure) but it is a far cry from the vein stripping of old.
Some say that ambulatory phlebectomy and vein stripping are like apples and oranges. Forms of phlebectomy have existed for hundreds of years. Vein stripping is the oldest that we know of in modern medical history. However, throughout the 20th century, advances in anesthesia and micro-surgical techniques greatly improved the way that varicose veins were treated. Utilizing these advances, today’s vein specialist can conduct vein removal in select cases under tumescent local anesthesia and through tiny incisions that are more like nicks in the skin than the inches-long incisions that used to be made. The micro-techniques used in ambulatory phlebectomy shorten recovery time significantly. Many patients need only a day or two of rest before resuming normal activity.
At the Minimally Invasive Vascular Center office in Laurel, we offer proven solutions for varicose veins that don’t have to keep you down for weeks. Schedule a consultation at (855) 803-MIVC (6482) to explore our vein treatment options.