Varicose veins are often thought to be the same as spider veins; however, there are differences in these two vein problems. Spider veins appear on the surface of the skin as tiny bursts or webs. Varicose veins are larger rope-like veins that most commonly develop on the thighs, calves, feet and back of knees.
While some varicose veins merely pose a cosmetic problem, some cases may cause substantial discomfort as well as health complications. If you are suffering from painful varicose veins that ache, swell or make your legs feel heavy and tired, you should seek medical attention. Contact the Acadiana Vascular office if your varicose veins are causing you pain.
Endovenous laser therapy is a less invasive alternative to surgical vein stripping for the treatment of painful varicose veins. Before the procedure, you are given a mild sedative to relax you. A thin laser fiber is then inserted into your problematic vein. Laser energy is then passed through the fiber in the leg to close the problematic vein. Once the diseased vein has closed, your blood will continue to flow through the other healthy veins in that leg.
Endovenous laser therapy is performed in- office, generally taking less than an hour to perform. Most patients experience little to no pain during the procedure. Post treatment, patients are encouraged to begin walking and to resume normal activities. However, you should avoid excessive sun exposure, hot baths, vigorous exercise and swimming during the two weeks following your treatment. After receiving laser therapy treatments, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly to prevent your vein problems from worsening.
Side effects from laser therapy may include bruising of the treated site, tenderness of the leg, tingling of the treated area, itching sensation of treated area, tightness of the leg. These side effects are normal and should subside within a month. If you experience a significant amount of pain or begin to bleed from the injection site after your laser therapy, you should call our office immediately.
Sclerotherapy is an in-office procedure that is used to treat small varicose veins and spider veins. During the treatment, problem veins are injected with a sclerosant solution that causes the vein to collapse and prevents blood from flowing through it. Once the blood flow in the varicose vein is stopped, the appearance of the vein will disappear and the blood will flow through healthy veins.
This procedure treats existing spider and varicose veins, but it will not prevent new spider veins and small varicose veins from forming. The injection may cause a burning or stinging sensation. Some veins may require treatment more than once while others will fade away after the first injection. After your Sclerotherapy session, you will wear the compression hose for 48 hours without removing - not even for a bath. Then wear the hose for 8 - 10 hours a day for 3 weeks. The more you wear the hose, the better the results.
Sclerotherapy side effects may include bruising at the site of the injection, brown discoloration of the skin, development of new spider veins, swelling around the ankles, small skin ulcerations, development of trapped blood These side effects are mild and short lasting. Most of them last for a few weeks at most and do not affect your long-term results. There is no recovery time for Sclerotherapy. You will be able to go back to work the same day.
The amount of Sclerotherapy treatments needed varies from individual to individual. Typically, two to four treatments are needed to achieve the best results; however, larger varicose veins may require more treatments. Patients with milder cases of spider veins should see results with one or two treatments.
When you come to the Acadiana Vascular Center for your Sclerotherapy session, we suggest that you wear shorts or bring a pair with you. You should also purchase a pair of compression stockings to wear home after your treatment to help improve your blood flow. Please bring compression stockings with you to your appointment. If you do not have prescription compression stockings, they can be purchased in our office. After your treatment, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can prevent your vein problems from worsening.Contact our office to arrange an appointment