Minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins
Varicose veins aren’t pretty. But more importantly, they aren’t healthy. These bulging, rope-like veins could mean that tiny valves in the veins in your legs have stopped working properly to keep blood flowing in the right direction.
Proper diagnosis of varicose veins is critical to successful treatment
If you suspect you have varicose veins, you’re not alone. Over half the population over 50 suffer from some form of them. Many younger people do too. Varicose veins can ache and cause feelings of fatigue or cramping. You may also have skin conditions like a rash, redness or sores on your legs. Standing or sitting for too long can make these symptoms worse.
Accurate diagnosis with duplex ultrasound
Your surgeon will first conduct a physical exam and ask you questions about your general health, medical history, and symptoms. He or she will also examine the texture and color of any prominent veins. Depending on findings, we may recommend a duplex ultrasound test that uses sound waves to measure the speed of blood flow and examine the structure of your veins. This should take about 20 minutes per leg and gives us the information we need to make the most accurate diagnosis possible.
Our priority is your long-term health
When the veins in your legs are healthy, blood circulates smoothly from your feet to your heart. But sometimes the blood in your leg veins can pool and increase the pressure in your veins. This often happens when you don’t get proper exercise or sit or stand too long. Eventually the walls of those veins weaken. Pooling blood can also damage the one-way flaps, called valves, that keep your blood flowing in the right direction. The result can be varicose veins.
While varicose veins are not life threatening, a severe case can slightly increase your chance of developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can cause sudden, severe leg swelling and always requires immediate medical attention. With proper diagnosis, we can make sure this never happens to you.
Advanced, safe treatments have you back on your feet quickly
Thanks to advances in medicine, we can offer a variety of treatments for both varicose veins and spider veins (dilated blood vessels that appear on the legs, hands, chest and face). Most procedures can be done without any sedation so you can go right back to your normal activities.
Our vein treatments include:
Compression therapy: Compression stockings are the most conservative approach to treating problem veins in your legs. These prescription stockings put pressure on your veins to stop excess blood from flowing backward and pooling. They also help heal skin sores and prevent them from returning.
Sclerotherapy: During this simple treatment your physician injects a chemical into spider or small varicose veins through a tiny needle. The affected vein then shrinks and is absorbed into the body. Healthier veins take over the job of moving blood to your heart. You may experience tenderness at the injection site for up to two weeks.
Radiofrequency ablation (RF): This is a minimally invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to heat and seal spider veins or small varicose veins shut. Using ultrasound for guidance, we deliver heat through a tiny catheter directly into the problem vein. At Grants Pass Surgical Associates, we use the latest technology, called the VNUS ClosureFAST, which shortens the procedure time while providing optimal results. You can generally walk immediately after the procedure but should rest for the first few days to avoid bruising and swelling. You may experience soreness for a week or more.
Ambulatory phlebectomy: For larger varicose veins, we may recommend a minimally invasive outpatient procedure called ambulatory phlebectomy. After applying local anesthesia, your doctor will make several tiny incisions to remove the veins at the leg’s surface. No stitches are required and you should be able to walk out of the office. You may need to wear compression stockings for several weeks to minimize bruising and aid healing. You can generally expect great long-term results from this treatment.
Vein stripping: In more severe cases of varicose veins and other chronic vein diseases, we may recommend a surgical procedure called vein stripping. This outpatient procedure is performed with general or local anesthesia. Your surgeon will make a small incision in the groin area and usually another incision in your calf below the knee. After tying off (ligating) the affected superficial saphenous vein in your leg, we remove (strip) it through these incisions. Blood then circulates through nearby veins with healthy valves. The incisions are closed with stitches. Vein stripping usually takes 60 to 90 minutes. You will need to wear bandages to control the bleeding and swelling for 3 to 5 days and wear compression stockings for several weeks. You should be able to return to work within a few days of the procedure.