About Venous Disease: Understanding Superficial Venous Reflux
Your legs are made up of a network of veins. Healthy leg veins contain valves
that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. Venous reflux disease
develops when the valves that keep blood flowing out of the legs and back to the heart become
damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in your legs and lead to symptoms such as pain,
swelling, swollen limbs, leg heaviness and fatigue, skin changes and skin ulcers, and varicose veins.
Spider veins, medically known as telangiectases are dilated capillary veins less than 2mm. in diameter.
They are small blue to red appearing blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin and occur
either in lines or web-like patterns. They are usually visible on the legs but sometimes are visible around
the nose and lips and are commonly referred to as "broken veins." While they can ache, burn or itch now and
then, but they are usually not symptomatic. Spider veins are not harmful and are simply unsightly.
Varicose veins are ropy appearing blue vessels under the skin, usually ½ inch or larger in diameter.
They are most often branches from the saphenous trunk veins, and have enlarged due to the excess pressure
in the saphenous system. Varicose veins are unsightly and often painful. A clotted varicose vein causes
the classic phlebitis, hot and red and painful skin at the site of the clot. Beside the visible symptoms,
physical symptoms are tiredness, restless legs at night, heaviness in the leg, pain, aching, itching,
throbbing and swelling, burning or a cramping sensation.
Click below to view a 30 second video-clip about venous reflux
After a comprehensive evaluation that includes an ultra-sound examination of the veins, our vein specialists
will determine the optimal treatment for each patient's needs.
The VNUS® Closure® Procedure, an alternative treatment option to traditional vein stripping surgery, brings
state-of-the-art technology to an age-old disease.
The Closure procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Using ultrasound, your physician will position the
Closure® catheter into the diseased vein, through a small opening in the skin. The tiny catheter delivers
radiofrequency (RF) energy to the vein wall. As the RF energy is delivered and the catheter is withdrawn, the
vein wall is heated, causing the collagen in the wall to shrink and the vein to close. Once the diseased vein
is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthy veins.
Following the procedure, a simple bandage is placed over the insertion site, and additional compression may be
provided to aid healing. Your doctor may encourage you to walk, and to refrain from extended standing and strenuous
activities for a period of time.
Patients who undergo the Closure procedure typically resume normal activities within a day.
Highlights of the Closure Procedure
Click below to view a short video about the VNUS Closure procedure
Relief of symptoms
Resume normal activity within a day
Local or general anesthesia
Good cosmetic outcome with minimal to no scarring, bruising or swelling
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a method of surgical removal of surface veins. This is usually completed in our office
using local anesthesia. Incisions are tiny (stitches are generally not necessary) and typically leave imperceptible
puncture mark scars. Post-operative discomfort is minimal. After the vein has been removed by phlebectomy, a bandage
and/or compression stocking is worn for a short period.
Sclerotherapy is a cosmetic medical procedure used to treat varicose veins and spider veins. A tiny needle is used
to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell
and stick together, and the blood to clot. Overtime, the body will absorb the treated vein. Mild discomfort may
occur, and a cramping sensation may be felt for 1 to 2 minutes when larger veins are injected. The number of veins
injected in one session is variable, depending on the size and location of the veins, and the patient's overall medical
condition. Anywhere from one to several sclerotherapy sessions may be needed for any vein region. Medically prescribed
support hose and/or bandages may need to be worn for several days to several weeks to assist in resolution of the veins.
In general, spider veins respond to treatment in 3 to 6 weeks, and larger veins respond in 3 to 4 months.