Varicose veins usually occur because of a failure in a valve, or valves, of the Great Saphenous Vein (GSV). This blood vessel is located deep on the inside of the thigh. In order to evaluate this vein, the doctor will use an ultrasound to determine exactly where the problem is located. When the valves of the GSV do not close properly, blood flows backwards down the lower legs and causes the vein to bulge. This can result in a slight bulging of the veins or a rope like, twisted appearance when significant blood pools in the leg. The process of blood flowing backwards is referred to as venous reflux. If these are left untreated, the pooled blood can begin to cause tissue breakdown, skin discoloration around the ankles, and ultimately lead to ulcers.
Compression stockings, or conservative therapy, are often the first step in managing varicose veins. Before more intricate procedures to treat varicose veins, insurance companies frequently first require the use of compression stockings. They can help slow the progression of the disease as well as alleviate some of the symptoms including aching, cramping, or swelling. However, they do not treat or cure the underlying problem of venous reflux. The steady, graduated compression of the stockings assists the leg muscles and veins move blood back up the leg to the heart. They also prevent blood in veins that are closer to the surface of the skin from bulging.
Compression stockings and hosiery come in a variety of types and brands and in styles and colors for both women and men. They are available online as well as at most pharmacies and medical supply stores. It is best to have your doctor help fit you for your compression stockings. You want to choose a pair that are comfortable and supportive rather than overly tight. Choosing stockings that are too tight can cause further complications. Compression therapy works best when used daily during all waking hours.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Treating varicose veins used to require invasive surgery to strip malfunctioning veins. At Elysium Aesthetics and Vein Care, Dr Singh uses cutting edge technology, known as Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), to treat varicose veins with just a tiny skin puncture and virtually no downtime. Medical lasers use concentrated laser energy to its target with maximum precision giving the patient the best possible results. In fact, in the hands of askilled physician, laser procedures are far more safe than open surgeries.
The EVLT procedure is performed in the office as a minimally invasive treatment for large varicose veins. First, the doctor applies a local anesthetic to the skin and then makes a small incision where, with the use of an ultrasound, inserts the laser fiber
directly into the vein through a small tube (catheter). A laser light is emitted through the fiber. As the fiber is slowly withdrawn, it gives off precise light energy to the damaged vein wall and seals it off. Like with other vein therapies, the blood is automatically re-routed to healthier veins. The procedure is nearly painless and takes 30-45 minutes to complete.
EVLT can help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins including aching and pain in the legs, eliminate swelling and discomfort, as well as heal leg ulcers. Compression stockings are recommended following the procedure to help you get the best results from your treatment. Patients are encouraged to resume most of their normal daily activities with minimal restrictions.
Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider and varicose veins on the legs. During the treatment, a mild chemical solution (sclerosant) is injected into the problem vein(s) and causes them to close. The body absorbs these damaged vessels and re-routes the blood through other, healthier vessels back up the leg and to the heart.
The number of injections varies from patient to patient and depends on the number of veins and areas affected. A single session of treatment can involve multiple injections. At Elysium Aesthetics and Vein Care, Dr. Singh also uses a special light that is placed against the skin to illuminate other underlying veins which allows him to target not only the immediately visible veins but also the underlying veins that are contributing to the problem. The results of visual sclerotherapy are often seen almost immediately. The doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings after your treatment for the best results.
Ambulatory microphlebectomy is a procedure that allows the physician to gently remove surface varicose veins through a tiny incision. It is performed using a small surgical hook and is often done in conjunction with the EVLT procedure to achieve the best possible results. This procedure is also done in the office setting under local anesthesia. Dr Singh starts by marking the affected veins while the patient is standing up. The patient then lies on their belly and the physician makes small punctures to remove the pieces of vein. The punctures are so tiny that they are barely visible after the treatment. Afterwards, the physician wraps your leg with a compression bandage that is worn for the following 24-hours. You will be able to walk normally immediately following the procedure and maximum results should be noticeable within 2 weeks.