It’s amazing when I think back on all the medical advancements in varicose vein treatment, even over the past five years. Now, thanks to innovative, minimally invasive technologies that involve the use of lasers, never has it been easier or faster to get your varicose veins treated.
Despite these medical advancements, many patients are still reluctant to get their varicose veins looked at by a vein specialist, because they believe they’ll need to have their veins “stripped” to be treated effectively.
“Vein stripping” does sound pretty invasive — and for good reason. For those seeking help from a top vein specialist, neither myself nor any of my colleagues should ever recommend such an outdated procedure. If you see a vein doctor and they mention that they’re still doing vein stripping procedures — that should be a red flag to you that their varicose vein treatments are woefully outdated.
Vein stripping is where a vein surgeon literally puts you to sleep on the operating table under a general anesthetic, opens up your leg, and removes the entire length of the dysfunctional vein from your system. You’re then sewed back up and left to wake up from the anesthesia, only to find that your leg is quite swollen due to the trauma. Such an invasive procedure can potentially cause months of major discomfort. Fortunately, technology has come a long way, and varicose vein treatments have progressed in leaps and bounds — becoming far less invasive and having a much more rapid recovery time.
Why Laser Closure (or Endovenous Ablation) Is a Far More Preferable Treatment
“Ablation” means sealing off the vein, and “endovenous” means doing it from inside the vein. This is a procedure done in the office with local anesthetic. A special catheter or laser fiber is inserted into the malfunctioning vein through the skin. The vein is numbed, then heated from the inside to seal it shut. This forces the blood to circulate through the healthy veins instead of pooling in the diseased ones. In many cases, this procedure alone relieves the pressure on the surface veins and no further treatment is needed to directly address those veins. Endovenous ablation can bring quick relief of varicose vein symptoms, and can be performed as a “lunchtime treatment”.
It’s possible that you may have some minor discomfort, but most of my patients are able to resume normal activities within 48 to 72 hours. I’d call that a great alternative to vein stripping, don’t you think? If you’re wondering if you have varicose veins, please call my office to book one of my complimentary consults — I’d be happy to take a look at your legs and put your mind at ease.