Varicose Veins and Venous diseases are extremely common. By age 50, nearly 20% of men and up to 40% of women experience some form of vein disorder. As many as 25 million Americans may suffer varicose veins. Family history, multiple pregnancies, standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time, and a history of blood clots are all contributing factors to the development of vein disease. The good news is that over the past decade, there have been many innovations in the modern treatment of venous diseases. There are more minimally-invasive treatments than ever before, and traditional procedures such as vein stripping have largely been replaced by modern treatments that involve less downtime and much less discomfort during recovery. Patients benefit from a greatly improved appearance and relief from the pain, aching, cramping, numbness, itching, burning, swelling and fluid retention associated with venous insufficiency. Patients are amazed that the lower leg ulcers they have suffered with for years will potentially heal over in a few weeks to months. Many are delighted to realize they can go about their daily lives in much greater comfort, and can return to wearing clothing like shorts and capri pants that they had previously given up.
While today’s cutting-edge treatment techniques provide patients with more options to treat their venous conditions such as varicose veins, than ever before, some patients may need to try conservative treatments at some point. This may be simply to manage their symptoms until they agree on a treatment plan with their doctor, until their insurance plan is satisfied that further intervention is necessary, or concurrently with other forms of treatment. Some of these treatments may also be prescribed following a venous procedure, to promote blood flow as the area heals, and/or to help prevent the problem from occurring elsewhere. Whatever the reason, there are several conservative treatment options Doctor Eston Wenger may recommend.
It is important to remember that these treatments are for symptom management only—they may provide mild to moderate, temporary relief, but they will not cure venous disease and may not be able to prevent it from progressing.
Some examples of conservative treatments for Varicose Veins include:
- Compression Therapy
- Lifestyle Changes
- Weight Loss
- Leg Elevation
Because this is a minimally-invasive procedure, the veins are not “stripped” out, or removed. Instead, the body’s natural inflammatory response will gradually break down the vein and it will be reabsorbed by the body.
Discomfort after the procedure is minimal. Some patients may feel a tightening or cramping sensation in the treated leg after several days, which can be treated with over the counter pain relievers. Varicose patients will need to wear compression stockings for 1-2 weeks to promote proper blood flow, and also to improve comfort and support during the healing process.
You should restrict your activities to light exercise (walking is excellent) and refrain from any heavy lifting for one week. You might experience some mild bruising or redness for a day or two following the procedure.
Endovenous ablation is a safe and effective procedure that provides dramatic improvements for a varicose patient’s quality of life. The common symptoms of aching, swelling, leg pain, cramping, skin ulcerations, and discoloration can all be addressed with endovenous techniques. There is little to no scarring and this is a relatively low-risk procedure. Depending on your symptoms and medical condition, Doctor Eston Wenger may recommend an endovenous procedure by itself or in conjunction with other treatment techniques to achieve the best outcome in combating varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive procedure in which a liquid or foam substance is injected into spider, reticular, or small varicose veins to cause them to collapse.
During a sclerotherapy procedure, Dr. Eston Wenger will inject a sterile chemical solution into the affected vein using a very fine needle. The solution is designed to irritate the inside lining of the vein, which causes the walls of the vein to swell and stick together. Ultimately, the veins collapse and are reabsorbed by the body.
The number of treatments you will need will be determined by Doctor Eston Wenger, who will consider the number, size, and location/depth of the veins that need to be treated. Some varicose patients may desire to have additional treatments but should wait 4-6 weeks to see the full results of the original treatment before scheduling follow-up procedures. Unfortunately, sclerotherapy is not suitable for treating large varicose veins.
When performed by a qualified vein specialist such as Doctor Eston Wenger, sclerotherapy is a safe and quick outpatient procedure that produces beautiful results. Because the needle used for the procedure is so tiny, varicose patients generally feel little discomfort during the procedure, though they may feel some itching or burning for a few hours afterward.
Side effects include minimal bruising and swelling for a few days afterwards. Some patients may experience pigment skin changes around the treated veins that will typically fade over time. Any discomfort can be easily managed by over-the-counter, non-aspirin pain relievers. Walking immediately after the procedure and in the following days will help to promote circulation. Dr. Eston Wenger may also recommend you wear compression stockings for a short period to speed the healing process.
Microphlebectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure used to remove medium to large, bulging varicose veins located near the surface of the skin. Microphlebectomy may be performed as a stand-alone procedure, but is usually performed as part of a comprehensive vein treatment plan that includes other procedures such as endovenous laser ablation.
Prior to your microphlebectomy procedure, Dr. Eston will mark your veins in the standing position when the veins bulge the most. During a microphlebectomy procedure, Doctor Eston Wenger will remove the targeted varicose veins through a series of 2-3 millimeter micro-incisions along the marked bulging varicose veins. These tiny cuts or incisions are so small they usually do not require any stitches and are virtually invisible once healed.
Microphlebectomy is highly-regarded by patients because it is minimally-invasive, requires only local anesthesia, leaves minimal to no scars, and has very little downtime. In fact, there is no downtime from driving, and you can go back to activities like strenuous workouts in around a week.
Side effects include minimal bruising and swelling for a few days afterwards. You may also experience some short-lived numbness at the incision sites. Dr. Eston Wenger may recommend you wear compression stockings for a week or two to promote healing, and may encourage you to walk immediately following the procedure. Patients generally tolerate microphlebectomy extremely well and are delighted with the dramatic cosmetic improvement.