Tag: ablation

Is medical glue a good varicose vein treatment?

Looking for varicose vein treatment? When we see patients for varicose vein treatment in our Houston area vein centers, they’re often a symptom of venous insufficiency. That’s a condition that can cause more serious health issues. These include high blood pressure, venous ulcers and so much more. In other words, varicose veins can be dangerous and unattractive. So treating these bulging, prominent veins is more than just a cosmetic decision: it’s imperative to your overall health.

Once you’ve decided to treat varicose veins, the question remains: what method will serve you best?

Procedures to get rid of varicose veins have come a long way, and, today, you’ve got many different options. At one time, patients with vein disease weren’t so lucky. Some chose a procedure commonly known as “vein stripping,” which was an inpatient surgery requiring general anesthesia, hospital admission, and a long, painful recovery period.

Now, this treatment option was highly invasive. So it wasn’t safe for some patients with pre-existing health conditions, including even mild liver disease. (Also called cirrhosis.) For that reason, many patients were left suffering, because the treatment risks were too high.

Even patients who could tolerate vein stripping faced a tough road. After that invasive therapy, patients had to take off time from work or school while they healed! Thankfully, those days are behind us! In our office, we offer a range of minimally invasive varicose vein treatments.

And we’re constantly watching the news for treatment development. Recently, one option involving medical glue was approved by the NHS in the UK. So, today, we wanted to discuss the effectiveness of this treatment.

Medical Glue and Varicose Veins Reasons for a Vein Evaluation

As we mentioned before, varicose veins are a symptom of a blood flow problem. When your valves fail, that allows blood to flow backward, instead of going against gravity and returning to your heart. As the blood sticks around your lower extremities, those veins in your legs get stretched, bulging and visible through your skin.

That’s where a medical glue product called VenaSeal is introduced. Using a small catheter, providers insert the glue into your vein to stop your blood from flowing backward into your legs. They often use a local anesthetic  alongside the glue to prevent any pain. The glue basically stops up the faulty vein so it can’t continue to cause problems. Afterward, many patients can avoid wearing compression stockings.

Now, VenaSeal can be effective. (In fact, this study suggests efficacy rates as high as 98%.) But some factors may impact its usefulness. First, you have to insert the glue into just the right spot, or backflow may continue. Additionally, it’s not yet cleared for use in pregnant women, and long term safety studies are still in the works.

Sclerotherapy and Ablation for Varicose Vein Treatment

Looking for an alternative to VenaSeal? Sclerotherapy is a great option using an ultrasound to access your varicose vein, under the skin, with a very small needle. Next, we mix medication with carbon dioxide gas to create a foam that we inject directly into the abnormal vein, closing it permanently. We recommend sclerotherapy for veins that aren’t yet bulging.

Now, for bulging varicose veins, radiofrequency vein ablation may be a better option. RFA is also a minimally invasive procedure involving the insertion of a catheter into your abnormal vein. We then supply it with heat energy, closing the vein permanently. Want the best news? We can perform RFA with just a local anesthetic. It is a virtually painless procedure that leaves virtually no scar. The procedure takes less than an hour to perform and patients can resume normal activities immediately afterward.

Before proceeding with radiofrequency ablation, or any other varicose vein treatment, your Houston vein specialists will perform a thorough medical examination, including a diagnostic ultrasound evaluation, to determine whether the procedure is appropriate for you. To find out the best treatment option for your medical reality, schedule your consult today!

 

Sources: Expert Review of Medical Devices, NHS.UK

 

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Varicose Veins?

When you have bulging, painful varicose veins, you want them gone, but you need to know what’s the best way to get rid of varicose veins? Clearly, there are many different ways to address this visible symptom of vein disease. But, if you are wondering what treatment will deliver the fastest relief with few complications, we’re here to help. And here’s the good news! Researchers in the UK also wondered what’s the best varicose vein treatment? That’s why they conducted a study, comparing the results of surgical and non-surgical varicose vein treatments. And we’re guessing you’ll be pleased by what they discovered!

Surgery and Varicose Veins: A Genetic Link best way to get rid of varicose veins: link to genetics

What’s the best way to get rid of varicose veins? A new study in Nature Communications suggests that some people’s genetics increase their risk for varicose vein surgery. This was the largest study to ever explore varicose veins, following over 400,000 individuals with varicose veins, plus another 400,000 of their relatives using the site 23andMe.

Now, it’s important to understand the genetic risks of developing these bulging veins. But here’s what’s even more exciting for your Houston vein specialists. In that same study, researchers noted that their findings pave the way for better treatments in the future. And, at least in our office, the future is now, thanks to our less invasive treatment options. Let’s take a closer look!

Is Varicose Vein Surgery Better Than Other Treatments?

The results were from a CLASS (Comparison of Laser, Surgery and Foam Sclerotherapy) study. Of all the treatments they explored, two non-surgical treatments are ones we provide in our Houston area vein clinics. These include Foam Sclerotherapy and Laser Ablation. Before we get to the results of this study, let’s take a closer look at one of the options: Sclerotherapy!

What is Sclerotherapy?

The name of this varicose vein treatment comes from the words sclero,” (which means hard) and “therapeia,” (healing). With this treatment, we inject hardening agents to your varicose veins. This causes you to develop scar tissue in those veins. Then, it blocks blood flow, so your varicose veins shrink and eventually disappear.

Because the treatment involves an easy injection, it’s considered a minimally invasive procedure. But it’s not the best treatment for all varicose veins, since it works best for small vessels that are close to the surface of your skin. (In some cases, sclerotherapy may help heal your venous leg ulcers, too.)

Not everyone can handle this treatment option. You shouldn’t choose sclerotherapy if you’re pregnant or living with kidney disease, leukemia or HIV. Also, if you’ve had a blood clot or leg operation, this may not be your best treatment option.

So, now you understand what’s involved in this treatment option, let’s get back to answering our original question: which treatment option works best?

What’s the Best Varicose Vein Treatment? Science Weighs In! endovascular therapy boosts ischemia treatment

As we mentioned, the CLASS study compares the results of treating your veins with surgery or less invasive options. And the study didn’t just look at the immediate impact. Instead, researchers compared the treatment’s long-term results with surgery. With sclerotherapy, we inject your abnormal vein with a substance that gradually causes its collapse. With ablation, we use bursts of laser light to collapse your vein. Both are minimally invasive procedures.

For this study, researchers followed 800 varicose vein patients treated between 2008 and 2012. At the end of five years, patients answered questions about their quality of life, the financial cost and their willingness to recommend the treatment to others.

Almost all of the participants were happy with their results. Nearly all participants reported feeling better after treatment. And most participants would undergo and recommend the same treatment again.

Researchers also discovered that ablation and surgery delivered slightly better results than sclerotherapy. They found ablation was the most cost-effective option. And, though it wasn’t mentioned in the study, here’s something vein specialists know: sclerotherapy and ablation come with less down time and fewer complications than surgery.

With these findings, the study—and our blog post—gets a happy ending. Even though many people get varicose vein surgery, you don’t have to. And that’s because non-surgical treatments deliver great results: at a lower cost and, typically, without hospital stays!

When Should You Treat Varicose Veins?

Now you know what’s the best varicose vein treatment, you’ve got to know: when should you get them treated. And the answer is: now: Why? Here are 5 reasons to treat varicose veins immediately:

1. To treat the root cause of vein disease

Before starting any vein treatment, Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee will always perform a comprehensive ultrasound evaluation. This allows them to diagnose underlying chronic venous insufficiency, which is the improper functioning of valves in the vein. It also means that all of the diseased veins can be treated. The perforator (connector) diseased veins are just as important to treat as the varicose veins near the surface of the skin.

2. To improve symptoms that are impacting your daily life

Varicose veins can cause persistent and annoying symptoms that can impact your quality of life and signal that vein treatment is necessary. Symptoms of varicose veins can include tiredness, heaviness, achiness, pain, cramps, burning, stinging, itchiness, or a feeling of restlessness in your legs. More serious symptoms, including spontaneous bleeding from veins or recurrent skin infections, should be treated immediately. After varicose vein treatment, underlying symptoms will improve quickly over time.

3. To get rid of the look of varicose veins

Swollen, bulging, and rope-like veins are the most visible sign of venous insufficiency that can be resolved with our treatments. Dr. Fox or Dr. Hardee will remove the bulging veins through tiny incisions or inject medication to close the varicose vein so that it shrinks over time and is no longer noticeable.

4. To find out how to prevent future varicose veins

The primary cause of varicose veins are things outside of your control such as family history, age, gender, and family history. However, our doctors can provide advice to prevent vein disease from getting worse. Also, you can help prevent new varicose veins from forming by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Now, you may also avoid clothes and shoes that reduce circulation, choose to quit smoking and wear compression stockings to further reduce your risk.

Our specialists at Texas Endovascular will provide recommendations for making lifestyle changes that can help minimize the occurrence of varicose veins.

5. To know if this could be a sign of other health conditions

Studies have shown that having varicose veins can be a sign of increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a serious blood clot that is usually in the leg, as well as pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a blood clot that travels to the lungs. Having varicose veins is also linked to peripheral artery disease (PAD), a circulatory issue that results in reduced blood flow to the limbs.

Schedule an evaluation today!

Sources: The New England Journal of Medicine

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