Diagnosis and Treatment of Varicose Veins

Any vein can become varicose, but the veins in your legs are the most affected. This is because walking upright and standing, increases pressure in the veins of the legs. For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For others, they can result in more severe problems. El Paso Desert West Vein & Surgery Center offers the best treatment services to relieve and manage pain caused by varicose veins.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine the legs and visible veins while sitting or standing to get a diagnosis. The doctor can ask about any symptoms or pain you are experiencing. The doctor may also want to perform an ultrasound to check your blood flow. This is a non-surgical test that uses frequency sound waves. It allows the doctor to see how the blood is flowing in the veins.

A venogram can be done depending on the location of varicose veins. During this test, the doctor injects a dye into the legs and takes X-rays of the area. Ultrasound and venogram tests are used to ensure that blockage or blood clots are causing swelling and pain in your legs.

Treatment

Surgery

If your varicose veins are large, they might need surgery to be removed. This is usually done under general anesthesia. In many cases, the patient may go home the same day, if the surgery is done on both legs, you might have to spend the night in the hospital. Laser treatments are usually used to close smaller veins and spider veins. An intense beam of light is directed on the vein, which suddenly fades and disappears.

Stripping and ligation

Two cuts are made, one near the groin at the top of the vein, and the other is made down the patient’s leg, either at the knee or ankle. The top vein is tied and sealed, and a thin wire is threaded through the bottom vein and then pulled, taking the vein out with it.

This method doesn’t need you to stay in the hospital. Ligation and stripping sometimes lead to bleeding, bruising, and pain. On rare occasions, there can be deep vein thrombosis. During the recovery period, you have to wear compression stockings.

Radiofrequency ablation

A small cut is made below or above the knee, and with an ultrasound scan, a catheter is threaded into the vein. Your doctor inserts a probe in the catheter that emits radiofrequency energy. This energy heats the vein, making its walls collapse, closing it, and sealing it. This process is used for large varicose veins. Radiofrequency ablation is generally done under local anesthetic.

Endovenous laser treatment

A thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the vein. A small laser is stitched through the catheter and placed on top of the vein, it transfers short energy, which heats the vein, sealing it shut. With the ultrasound scan, the doctor threads the laser all over the vein, burning and sealing it. This method is performed under local anesthetic. There can be some nerve injuries that are typically brief.

Varicose veins can get worse with time. This can happen even when you make necessary changes to manage the pain and control them. If they are unsightly, they do not cause serious problems. But in some cases, they lead to sores or ulcers on your legs, chronic inflammation, and blood clots. You should seek a doctor’s attention if you get any of these symptoms.

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