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Venous Insufficiency Treatment

Mar 22

Venous insufficiency is when the blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart become damaged or fail. The condition causes pain, swelling, and a feeling of heaviness damaged veins in legs, which are symptoms that worsen after long periods of sitting or standing still. Symptoms can be relieved with medications, lifestyle changes, or minimally invasive procedures in a doctor’s office. In some cases, vein treatments may even reverse the damage caused by a chronic inflammation called atherosclerosis.

In a healthy vein, the walls of the blood vessel are elastic and the valves open and close to propel the blood in one direction. When these valves fail, blood tends to flow backward and pool in the veins farthest from the heart, particularly in the lower legs. Over time, this can lead to enlarged, twisted, and raised blood vessels, or varicose veins. Varicose veins appear dark blue, red, or purple and can be seen on the surface of the skin. These veins are often painful and can itch, especially after prolonged periods of standing or lying down.

Several things can cause the walls of a vein to stretch and its valves to weaken, including age, pregnancy, or the use of birth control pills or hormone therapy. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins, and the condition is more common in people with a family history of the problem. Health experts aren’t sure exactly why the walls of a vein stretch or its valves become faulty, but they do know that some things can help prevent varicose and spider veins, including wearing compression stockings, elevating the legs during the day, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Treatment for damaged veins includes medications, lifestyle changes, and minimally invasive procedures in a doctor’s clinic or hospital. Anti-inflammatories and blood thinners can reduce the swelling and pain of a varicose vein, while a procedure called sclerotherapy uses an injection of salt water, a chemical solution, or foam to close the leaking vein.

Other techniques can also close damaged veins and reroute the blood to nearby healthy ones. Center For Advanced Vein Care specialists use ultrasound imaging to guide a catheter, which is a thin tube, into the faulty vein. Then the vein specialist uses a laser or radiofrequency electrode via the catheter to heat the inside of the damaged blood vessel until it seals. Another option is endovenous ablation, or “radiofrequency closure,” which is when an expert at Center For Advanced Vein Care uses radiofrequency energy to destroy a defective vein in your leg. This is done using a hollow tube (catheter) with electrodes at the tip that are inserted into your damaged vein in 20-second bursts. The blood vessel then seals, and the body naturally reroutes the flow to other healthy veins.

In some cases, a medical adhesive is used to close the damaged vein in a procedure called VenaSeal. This is a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour and you can return home the same day.