Got a Veiny Problem? – Varicose Veins and Medical Treatment
Varicose veins develop as a result of poor circulation and weakened valves in the veins, resulting in twisted and enlarged veins to appear spider-webbing visibly under the skin. Derived from the Latin, “varix”, which means “twisted”, varicose veins most often develop in the legs where veins have to defy gravity in order to push blood to the heart. Generally speaking, women – especially pregnant women – are more prone to developing varicose veins than men – in the United States for example, it is estimated that up to 25% of women are affected by varicose veins compared to 15% of their male counterparts.
Normally, varicose veins are nothing more than an aesthetic issue though certain individuals may experience swelling, itching, pain and discomfort in the areas where they develop; and along with home remedies, there are surgical and medical solutions one can utilize to get rid of these unsightly veins.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
Also known as ELT, Endovenous Laser Treatment is a minimally invasive medical procedure used for the treatment of varicose veins. This ultrasound-guided procedure utilizes a laser and is normally performed by a vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist.
The procedure of an ELT, which is done under a local anesthetic, involves inserting a catheter into the top of the affected vein and then feeding a small laser into the catheter before releasing short bursts of laser energy that heats and seals shut the target vein.
Patients who undergo ELT are usually required to wear a compression stocking in order to reduce bruising, tenderness and the possibility of bloot clots; but otherwise, they are free to resume normal daily activities. However, patients are advised to avoid air travel, sitting for extended periods of time or being too idle after an ELT procedure in order to reduce complications.
VenaSeal is a chemical based procedure used to treat varicose veins by using a type of medical superglue called “cyanoacrylate” to glue the affected veins shut so that they’ll harden, turn into scar tissue and get reabsorbed back into the body. The procedure is done by simply numbing the target area and then using an ultrasound scan to inject the glue into the affected vein. Patients who undergo the VenaSeal procedure may resume normal day-to-day activities without having to wear a compression sock.
Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure designed to treat varicose and spider veins, especially if the varicose veins are small. This procedure is similar to VenaSeal in that its goal is to turn the affected veins into scars so that they’ll be absorbed into the local tissue and eventually disappear by injecting the affected with a medical solution.
Sclerotherapy has proven effective at not only eliminating the appearance of varicose veins but also alleviating symptoms related to varicose veins such as swelling, burning, aching, and night cramps.
Patients who undergo sclerotherapy are able to resume normal daily activities so long as they aren’t too strenuous and they are required to wear bandages or a compression sock to minimize complications. For smaller veins, patients should expect to see results within a few weeks, while it may take a month or more for the bigger veins to fade away.
In conclusion, while varicose veins are usually not a health concern, their unattractive appearance has resulted in patients turning to medical procedures to get rid of them. Depending on factors such as cost, affected area and personal choice, individuals may opt for one of the following medical procedures aforementioned in order to reduce or do away with varicose veins and restore the aesthetic appearance of the affected area.
 Wong, Kathy, ‘Natural Treatments for Varicose Veins’, in verywellhealth, last updated May 9th, 2019, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://www.verywellhealth.com/natural-treatments-for-varicose-veins-89260
 ‘Endovenous Laser Treatment’, in Wikipedia, last edited June 16th, 2019, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endovenous_laser_treatment
 Nordqvist, Christian, ‘What Can I Do About Varicose Veins?’, in Medical News Today, last updated December 14th, 2017, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240129.php
 ‘Varicose Vein Treatment (Endovenous Ablation of Varicose Veins)’, in RadiologyInfo.org, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=varicoseabl#common-uses
 CIS Staff, ‘CIS Cardiologists Are First to Use VenaSeal Technology in East Baton Rouge’, in Cardiovascular Institute of the South, published September 8th, 2016, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://www.cardio.com/news/cis-cardiologists-are-first-to-use-venaseal-technology-in-east-baton-rouge
 Mayo Clinic Staff, ‘Sclerotherapy’, in Mayo Clinic, last updated January 15th, 2019, viewed on July 21st, 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/sclerotherapy/about/pac-20384592