How are the minimally invasive vein treatments different from vein stripping surgery?
Minimally invasive and non-surgical procedures like Venefit, VeinGogh and sclerotherapy do not require general anesthesia and are less expensive than vein stripping. Recovery periods are also much shorter than surgery, with less post-operative pain, less bruising and swelling, and a lower overall risk of complications.
What is VeinGogh?
The VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for spider veins, fine telangiectasia, and small angiomas on the face, legs and other areas of the body. A safe, fast and effective procedure, VeinGogh uses a high-frequency current to deliver a quick “microburst” of energy, creating enough heat to collapse the vein wall, removing unsightly blemishes with little or no pain, and no recovery time.
What is Venefit?
Venefit™ (formerly known as VNUS Closure) is a minimally invasive treatment for superficial varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the physician inserts a ClosureFast™ catheter into the vein. This special catheter releases radiofrequency energy to heat up the vein, causing it to collapse and eventually close. Once the diseased vein is treated, no more blood returns to it and the varicosity disappears.
Patients typically experience symptom relief within 1-2 weeks, though improvements in the skin’s appearance usually take a few months. Some patients have minimal scarring, bruising or swelling following the Venefit procedure, but these problems typically go away in 1-2 weeks.
Venefit is only for large varicose veins - it is not suitable for spider veins (normal veins with no leaky valves should not be removed because future open heart surgery may require the use of these veins).
What is Sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a fast and effective outpatient procedure for unsightly spider veins and varicose veins. A special chemical is injected into the varicose vein – this chemical damages the lining inside the vein and causes the vein to close. Sclerotherapy reduces symptoms and improves the skin’s appearance with very little discomfort and no down time.
Are treatments at Lawrence Vein Center covered by my insurance?
Most insurance plans do cover the cost of vein treatment procedures, in full or in part, if the treatment is deemed medically necessary. However, some insurance companies now require patients to wear prescription-strength compression stockings before authorizing coverage on more advanced therapies.
Some patients find compression stockings to be uncomfortable, and our vein experts are happy to offer advice and techniques to help patients adjust and feel more comfortable.
Can I get treated for my vein disorder without having a procedure?
Compression stockings, or compression hose, are a simple way to treat disorders like chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins, lymphedema and postphlebitis syndrome. They are also used to prevent blood clots in the leg (making them effective gear for long plane rides).
Compression stockings are specialized long socks worn from the foot to the knee or thigh. They have a gradient of pressure – tighter in the foot and gradually less tight at the knee – to constantly squeeze the leg muscles and drive blood back to the heart. When worn properly, compression stockings reduce swelling in the feet and decrease the chance of blood clot formation in the legs. They do not eliminate varicose veins but do help reduce the swelling, aching and heaviness that varicose veins often cause.
Because compression stockings drive blood away from the leg, patients who smoke, have diabetes or have decreased blood supply to the legs should not wear compression stockings.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged superficial veins usually seen in the thigh and leg – veins that connect with the deep veins of the leg and play a minor role in the transfer of blood to the heart.
What causes varicose veins?
There are valves in the veins that prevent the backward flow of blood back into the legs. When these valves become damaged or defective, the blood flows backwards and causes swelling and engorgement of the veins. Conditions that can lead to varicose veins include pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing and trauma. Find out more about symptoms and prevention.
Can more serious problems occur if my varicose veins are left untreated?
In most cases, varicose veins are only a cosmetic nuisance. Most people with varicose veins do not develop serious complications. However, some additional problems can occur, such as:
- Superficial thrombophlebitis – an inflamed and tender varicose vein, usually with a clot present in the vein
- Bleeding – even with minor trauma, the varicose vein may be bleed heavily if under high pressure
- Venous eczema – dry, itchy skin around the vein
- Venous pigmentation – brown staining of the skin around the ankle due to small amounts of blood leaking from the veins
- Venous ulceration – ulcers at the ankle
How can I prevent varicose veins?
If prevention starts early in life, varicose veins may be avoided. Try the following techniques:
- Wear elastic support stockings or compression stockings
- Elevate your legs
- During pregnancy, lay on your left side with your legs elevated on a pillow to prevent the baby from pressing on veins connected to your legs
- Avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods
- Don't cross your legs when sitting down