One out of every five adults in the U.S. will develop varicose veins. Between 3% and 6% of untreated varicose veins will turn into open wounds.
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Varicose veins are a common condition that are not only unpleasant, but also can cause more serious health issues. While those with varicose veins are often most annoyed by their appearance, they can also be itchy and irritating. Here at Comprehensive Integrated Care, we offer interventional radiology solutions to improve the look of varicose veins as well as your overall vein health.
These bulging, dark-blue veins are most common in the legs, but can form almost anywhere. They happen when veins grow swollen or get twisted. The irregular shape of the vein causes blood to build up, causing the bulging and change in color. Since they occur when blood can’t flow normally, they can lead to other health issues, too.
The following are some of the most common symptoms of varicose veins:
- Aching legs
- Burning in the legs
- Throbbing leg cramps
- Leg swelling
- Pain that increases after sitting or standing
- Itchy skin near veins
- Discolored skin near veins
Because lack of proper blood flow can cause other problems, it is important to treat them when they occur.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
Varicose veins can be a symptom of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). CVI forms in deeper leg veins. It happens most often in people with high blood pressure. The most common cause of CVI is blood clots or vein damage, which is what causes the lack of proper blood flow.
Besides varicose veins, the most common symptoms of CVI include:
- Aching, swelling, and/or unsightly veins
- A feeling of “heaviness” in the legs
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Muscle fatigue, especially in the legs
- Leg cramps, especially those that get worse at night
Interventional Radiology Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
Unlike acne or scars, varicose veins and CVI can’t be written off as mere skin blemishes. These are medical conditions that often require treatment, and CiC can help. We offer interventional radiology treatments for vein conditions. Not only are these treatments minimally invasive, but they also provide fast relief of symptoms.
These procedures start with a small nick the skin, through which a tiny catheter will quickly and painlessly be inserted. Treatment is done right in our office, and patients will be discharged the same day. Recovery time will be quick, scarring will be minimal, and the relief will be real and speedy.
One vein condition treatment we use here at CiC is VenaSeal™. Using a catheter, an interventional radiologist can place droplets of medical adhesive in a twisted or damaged vein. This cuts off blood flow to that area, which stops the blood pooling in the vein.
The procedure itself couldn’t be easier. Patients start with an ultrasound to determine how bad the condition is. Then, your interventional radiologist will begin the VenaSeal™ treatment, starting with a small nick in the skin. They will place a small catheter through that incision and guide it to the twisted vein using ultrasound. Once there, the catheter releases a glue to seal that vein off. Once finished, the interventional radiologist will remove the catheter and wrap up the procedure. It’s so easy, you’ll be able to walk out of the office when you’re done. Because no heat is involved, you won’t have to wear compression stockings after your VenaSeal procedure.
Laser Ablation Therapy for Varicose Veins
Another way to treat vein conditions is with laser ablation therapy. In this case, interventional radiologists use light energy to heat the inside of a diseased vein. This shuts down the damaged vein and reroutes the blood to safer, healthier blood vessels. Your doctor will guide a small catheter to the troubled area. Some patients choose to be sedated, but many don’t need that and simply walk back to their vehicles after the procedure.
Radiofrequency Ablation for Varicose Veins
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) works almost identically to laser ablation therapy. Rather than using lasers, this procedure uses radiofrequency energy to heat and seal off problem veins. The result is the same: varicose veins are sealed off, and blood is rerouted to healthy veins.
If you’re dealing with varicose veins or CVI, contact an interventional radiologist at CiC. We can help you get smoother, healthier legs, and improve your overall vascular health at the same time.
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CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY