Dr. John Happel | Sep 22, 2018 | 0
How to Get Rid of Varicose Veins in Pittsburgh
5 Tried and True Ways to Eliminate Varicose Veins and Look Great
People often ask, “What can be done for varicose veins these days?”
Here’s some good news if you suffer from painful, aching and ugly varicose veins.
Hospitalization and painful stripping of varicose veins is no longer necessary.
Minimally invasive procedures can be done in the office in less than an hour in most cases.
No two cases of vein disease are exactly the same so different treatments are often required.
The vein specialist must therefore design a care plan just for your particular vein issue.
In this article, I’ll discuss five procedures used in this country to eliminate varicose veins in your legs.
Let’s dive in.
#1 Laser Ablation of Saphenous Veins
With endovenous laser ablation, the surgeon inserts a catheter into the large varicose vein and heats the lumen or inside of the vessel causing it to collapse.
With laser treatments, heat is generated by a laser fiber that is inserted inside the saphenous vein which is often the root of the varicose vein problem.
The laser heats the inside of the targeted vein and seals it shut.
The body absorbs it over time.
Symptoms are improved.
#2 Radiofrequency Ablation of Saphenous Veins
Radiofrequency is similar to laser.
A catheter is inserted into the saphenous vein but instead of laser energy, radiofrequency is used to heat and seal the vein.
Less heat is required with radiofrequency so it is less painful but results in similar success rates as the laser.
From personal experience, patients who had radiofrequency don’t require narcotic pills after their vein treatment.
That is not true for laser. The laser is hotter and usually causes more discomfort later.
#3 Ambulatory Phlebectomy
Ambulatory phlebectomy is also commonly known as microphlebectomy, stab phlebectomy, or stab avulsion.
Adding the word, ambulatory, means that you are able to walk normally immediately after the procedure.
With phlebectomy, tiny incisions are made over the varicose veins with a needle.
This treatment choice is often made with larger varicose veins.
The veins are removed through multiple needle holes.
Phlebectomy is unlike the traditional painful varicose vein stripping where large incisions were made resulting in unsightly scars.
Most people do not require any pain medication after phlebectomy.
Dr. Happel will carefully examine the severity of your varicose veins to determine if ambulatory phlebectomy is the right choice for you.
Sclerotherapy is also known as injections or shots. With this method, an FDA approved medicine – either sotradecol or polidocanol – is injected into the offending veins with a syringe and a tiny needle.
In the past, a saline-based liquid was injected into the veins. It was the best medicine available at the time.
The saline sealed off the veins. Eventually, they are absorbed by the body. Saline often resulted in stinging, burning and cramping during the procedure.
Modern sclerotherapy solutions are now saline-free. There is slight discomfort from the very tiny needle pricks that are required to inject the solution.
#5 Stripping of Varicose Veins
Although stripping is rarely performed any more, stripping can still be useful for saphenous veins that are located directly under the skin.
Local tumescent solution is used to numb the vein completely.
Afterwards, there is little or no pain at all when the vein is inverted or pulled from the inside out.
If these saphenous veins under the skin are treated with laser or radiofrequency, unsightly brown staining of the skin will result and last for a very long time.
Years ago, when stripping of the saphenous vein was performed in an operating room under general anesthesia, incisions were also made over the varicose veins which were one to several inches long.
Ripping out the saphenous vein with the older traditional method is no longer practiced in the United States.
The Takeaway Bottom Line
Varicose veins used to be treated only in hospitals.
Varicose vein treatment has moved from hospitals to offices.
Happel Laser & Vein Center is unique because it is the only vein center in Pittsburgh that has passed inspection.
We are the only accredited vein center in Pittsburgh.
The IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on.
At Happel Laser and Vein Center, we bring cutting edge vein treatment to the people of our community.
Call us today at 724-969-0600 and experience these new break-through techniques.