If you suffer from varicose veins, you are not alone. Up to 20 percent of people suffer from the visible blue, twisty, and swollen varicose veins. And, another 20 percent suffer from varicose veins that can’t be seen. In either case, it means the vein is not moving blood back to the heart properly, which can lead to major long-term medical complications down the road. Treating varicose veins is a cornerstone of my practice in Kansas City since 2003.
An Outdated Procedure: Vein Stripping
In the past, the standard treatment to fix varicose veins was a procedure called “vein stripping.” If my patients ask about this procedure, I tell them the reasons why vein stripping is outdated:
1. Vein stripping is a procedure that takes place in a hospital setting requiring general or regional anesthesia, meaning you have to “go under,” which has much greater risks than local anesthesia.
2. The procedure is a major surgery, requiring major incisions that can cause significant pain and bruising. Recovery time can last two to four weeks, and can be very difficult.
3. Even after the vein stripping procedure, a high percentage of varicose veins recur. In fact, according to one study (The Whiteley Clinic study), 23 percent of varicose veins return after one year and 82 percent recur after five years.
4. Vein stripping is associated with increased complications such as wound complications, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) and even nerve damage. Depending on the severity, blood clots can be deadly complications.
My Recommended Approach
My recommended varicose vein treatment is “laser ablation” or “laser closure” followed by a “micro-incisional resection” or “phlebectomy”. This is a minimally invasive approach that first collapses or seals the underlying problem vein (which is the cause of the superficial varicose veins) shut with a laser that is inserted into the leg via a tiny tube. This process redirects the blood away from the abnormal vein into the deeper, normally functioning veins. After the underlying problem vein is sealed shut, the visible bulging, dilated varicose veins on the surface are then removed by a special device called a “vein hook” via tiny, needle stick incisions. Average recovery time following these two procedures is about 36 hours, or a day and a half.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in having a free consultation appointment where I can examine your varicose veins, discuss a treatment plan, and answer any questions you may have about any varicose vein treatment, please contact my office at 913-284-0030.