So many patients with varicose veins avoid surgery because of the bruising and pain associated with vein stripping. You don’t have to put up with painful varicose veins. There are a few different treatments to consider such as vein stripping surgery or minimally invasive radiofrequency (RF) ablation. Dr. Zachary specializes in RF ablation, which can be done in about an hour.
The role of your veins
Veins serve a vital role in your body, channeling oxygen-depleted blood back toward the heart. If the valves don’t close properly, the blood doesn’t flow well, causing inflammation and congestion in the veins. These enlarged veins are called spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin, while varicose veins are larger veins deeper and more uncomfortable than spider veins.
Varicose vein symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, throbbing, cramping, itching and restlessness of the legs. Swelling and even ulceration of the lower leg can happen.
What is vein stripping?
There are various treatments for your varicose veins, and you will discuss your best options with your doctor. Traditionally, troublesome veins have been surgically removed, or stripped, from the leg. The surgery is performed in an operating room under a general anesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision in your groin and ties off the vein. A stripper tool is then threated through the vein and used to pull the diseased vein out of your leg through a second incision just above the calf. There can be bruising and pain as a result of tearing side branch veins if the saphenous vein is pulled out. You may go home the same day as surgery. Recovery could take up to four weeks.
How is VNUS® Closure® different?
The VNUS® Closure® procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to treat superficial venous reflux. It is an outpatient using local or general anesthetic. It involves inserting a thin catheter through a small opening in the skin and into the vein. Radiofrequency energy is delivered to the vein wall, causing it to heat, collapse and seal shut. Once this vein is closed, healthy veins take over.
After surgery, many patients can return to normal activities immediately. You may have a regular walking regimen for the first few weeks. You will want to avoid strenuous activity or prolonged periods of standing.