If you have bulging, uncomfortable, painful varicose veins, you are not alone. Affecting approximately a quarter of the U.S. adult population, Varicose Veins are superficial veins that have lost their ability to appropriately carry blood up and out of the legs, thus allowing the blood to flow backward toward the feet. Varicose veins are often a symptom of a progressive disease that will not get better on its own without treatment.
Caused by underlying venous insufficiency or venous reflux, varicose veins are a result of non-functioning valves inside the veins. Once a vein has become varicose, it won’t go back to normal and should be treated, whether or not it is causing symptoms. If left untreated, varicose veins and their related underlying insufficiency, can ultimately lead to chronic leg pain and swelling, eczema-type symptoms, skin thickening, and discoloration, bleeding, infections, and even ulcerations (open sores) that won’t heal until the veins are treated. Treating venous insufficiency before it progresses to more significant symptoms is easy and relatively painless with vein specialist Dr. Schwartz.
Certain risk factors may make it more likely for varicose veins to form. The leading cause of varicose veins is hereditary or genetic, as a family history of varicose veins will determine your predisposition to them. Women are three times more likely than men to struggle with abnormal leg veins. Pregnancy plays a common role in the formation of both spider and varicose veins since the bodily and hormonal changes of pregnancy cause greater blood flow and therefore greater potential for unsightly veins. Sitting or standing for long periods of time or traumatic leg injuries can also cause vein concerns.
Symptoms of Vein Disease may include:
These symptoms result from venous insufficiency caused by issues with the great saphenous vein system. As the longest vein in the human body, it connects to other veins in the leg from the feet to the upper thigh, where it joins the femoral vein. Because of its length, the great saphenous vein is prone to venous insufficiency and venous reflux, and this can cause varicose veins as slowed blood flow backs up into the veins that feed into this system. Treatment of a diseased great saphenous vein can often put a stop to venous insufficiency, although you may need other treatments to remove the remaining varicose veins.
The good news is that there has never been a better time to treat your vein disease, as revolutionary advancements in the available technology and treatment have taken place throughout the last fifteen + years. Previously, a hospital-based, very painful vein stripping was the de facto surgery used to physically remove diseased veins. However, vein specialists now have wonderful, minimally-invasive, in-office options to treat varicose veins and their underlying causes*. At Premier Vein & Body, all varicose vein treatments are performed in the comfort and convenience of our beautiful Kansas City office.
Upon completion of your Venous Duplex Ultrasound, Dr. Schwartz will determine your recommended treatment protocol, which will involve one or a combination of the following procedures:
Conservative Vein Treatment
Given that varicose veins are not a life-threatening problem, some patients achieve adequate relief with conservative therapy. Although leg elevation and the use of compression stockings may provide symptomatic relief, they will not, ultimately, resolve the problem. As many insurance companies require a trial of compression stockings for six to twelve weeks prior to approval for a more extensive procedure to treat the underlying causes of the vein disease, a period of conservative treatment using compression stockings will, often, be the first step in your treatment protocol. Compression stockings are also used post-treatment to decrease bruising, swelling and soreness, and help keep the veins sealed shut. Dr. Schwartz recommends wearing the hose for one week post-vein treatment, or until your legs feel better. They also are used post-spider vein treatment, as studies show they improve the long-term effectiveness of sclerotherapy injections.
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) or Laser Closure
Utilizing the 1470nm laser by TVS, our state-of-the-art laser treatment is the gold standard to help patients suffering from vein disease. A thin laser fiber (about five human hairs wide) is inserted through the diseased vein via a tiny needle, involving no incision, and thermal energy is delivered to the diseased vein, effectively sealing, or “closing” the unhealthy vein. The blood is then re-routed through healthier veins, thus restoring normal blood circulation. The 1470nm laser by TVS is, by far, one of the most comfortable laser vein treatments available, providing our vein patients with rapid relief of symptoms with little to no downtime, less bruising than traditional laser treatments, and minimal, if any, scarring.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that removes superficial varicose veins to restore healthy blood flow and improve your venous health. A small instrument is used to remove the varicose veins, which redirects blood flow to deeper, healthier vessels. Dr. Schwartz accesses the veins through an opening as small as a freckle, leaving you with no recovery time and the ability to return to regular activities with few to no restrictions. Unlike vein stripping, this in-office minor procedure lets you get rid of unsightly varicose veins, immediately getting rid of the bulging appearance and discoloration.
Dr. Schwartz often needs to treat varicose veins, or tributary branches, that are just below the skin’s surface and not visible to the eye, using Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy. Using an ultrasound to guide him, Dr. Schwartz injects an FDA-approved medication into the unhealthy veins, just below the skin’s surface. The medication creates inflammation within the lining of the vein, causing it to seal itself shut, which the body then reabsorbs over time. Ultrasound guidance makes sclerotherapy safe and effective to use on deeper veins that Dr. Schwartz needs to visualize more accurately, as they cannot be seen on the surface.
When looking for a vein doctor, make sure to consider the doctor’s skill and experience as well as their training. While some doctors perform vein procedures along with a variety of other specialties, Dr. Schwartz has dedicated his practice to vein treatment since 2003 and has multiple certifications proving his commitment to treating venous problems as a true vein specialist.
Though exact results will depend upon the treatment you receive, most patients can expect to see a notable improvement, or complete resolution, in the appearance of their varicose veins. Early varicose vein treatment can also help prevent the progression of venous disease.
You should see a reduction or elimination of swollen ankles, swollen legs, soreness, and heaviness in your affected legs. Treatment can produce an immediate or gradual resolution of visible varicose veins, freeing you from the bulging, discolored veins that used to bother you. Dr. Schwartz, with over 12,000 vein treatments performed, will give you an accurate idea of what to expect in the days and weeks after your procedure. You may have one procedure to address the primary diseased vein and other treatments to address visible varicose veins or other issues.
Your team will discuss your post-treatment care plan with you prior to your procedure, but most of our treatments require little to no downtime.
When you choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz for your vein procedure, you will be working with an experienced physician who specializes in vein disease. Dr. Schwartz is known as Kansas City’s “Original Vein Doctor” and the only triple board-certified vascular surgeon performing vein treatments in the area. Premier Vein & Body was founded in 2003 and was one of the first vein treatment centers in the Kansas City area. Dr. Schwartz is certified as an RVT (Registered Vascular Technician) and RPVI (Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation). These certifications are in venous ultrasound technology, ensuring the most thorough diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. With over 12,000 vein procedures performed, we’re confident that we can help you no matter what your vein condition might be.
*Individual Results May Vary
Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.
*Individual Results May Vary
Real Patients. Real Results. View before & after images of vein and cosmetic procedures in our photo gallery.