If you have varicose veins then you are familiar with the discomfort they can cause and the feeling that you don’t want anyone to see your legs. Many men and women will not even wear shorts due to how unsightly the veins can be. You probably have varicose veins if you suffer from these symptoms: Dark red, purple or blue veins close to the surface of the skin, veins in the legs with a bulging, ropy or knotty appearance, trouble walking more than a short distance without fatigue, restless leg syndrome, legs that throb, itch or burn, roadmap or cobweb like veins on the skin or your head, neck, chest or arms. The symptoms you see are from the veins not working properly. In healthy veins, the blood will flow smoothly from the heart to the limbs and then the deoxygenated blood is pumped back out. With varicose veins the valves are not working properly and the blood is pooling or is going in the reverse direction that it is supposed to. Causes could be from age, pregnancy, weight gain, physical stress, it could also be hereditary. Sometimes the valves can just weaken or fail working all together. Don’t worry, if you have varicose veins they can easily be treated today.
In the past treatment for varicose veins required ligation and stripping. It was uncomfortable and had much more downtime associated with it. Today a minimally invasive treatment called endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is much faster and more comfortable to the patient with minimal downtime. EVLA is thermal ablation using a thin laser fiber in a targeted segment of the varicose vein. It will permanently collapse and shrink the vein without having to surgically remove it. A local anesthesia is used to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. EVLA takes about an hour and is done right in the clinic. The patient is able to walk out after the procedure is done. The cosmetic results are amazing and the patient’s self-esteem is restored as well.