Varicose veins often affect the legs, since they are the farthest from the heart and gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward.
Treatments for vein conditions used to involve tying the offending vein off and removing it from under the skin, but now there are less invasive and less painful options. Here are a few:
• Endovenous approaches include endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), and radio frequency therapy (RF). These minimally invasive treatments close large varicose veins in the legs. A tiny fiber delivers radio waves or laser heat to seal the vein shut. A patient’s body will eventually reabsorb the vein, allowing the blood to be diverted to healthy veins in the leg.
• Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat smaller veins. The provider uses tiny needles to inject a medicine called a sclerosing agent into the vein. This substance causes the vein to become sticky and seal shut, causing it to disappear. Sclerotherapy can be performed either with ultrasound guidance or light assistance.
People who suffer from varicose veins often find they cannot stand on their feet for extended periods of time and their legs feel achy.