What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins, or venous insufficiency, are conditions where the veins are inefficient in sending blood from the legs back to the heart.
- Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin and are most common in the legs and ankles
- Valves in your deeper leg veins typically function to keep blood flowing back toward the heart, so it doesn't collect in one place. But the valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing.
- As a result, the veins stay filled with blood, even when you are standing.
- Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It occurs because a vein is partly blocked, or blood is leaking around the valves of the veins.
Venous insufficiency is diagnosed by ultrasound. Specialized Vein Care uses Registered Vascular Technologists to perform in-office ultrasounds on your initial visit. An ultrasound uses sound waves to generate pictures of the vein location, size, and measure how the blood is flowing in the veins. Veins return blood to the heart through a series of one-way valves. When the valves are damaged through injury, pressure or genetics, the blood does not move efficiently back to the heart and “pools” in the legs. This can be measured by ultrasound.
Varicose veins can be diagnosed by physical inspection. They are large, ropey veins that are often twisted in shape and stick out above the surface of your legs.
Specialized Vein Care provides specialized treatment options based on your specific needs. Procedures may be done in an outpatient surgery setting, in office setting, with or without sedation. After consulting with our physicians you may decide on having problem areas treated individually or grouping treatments to eliminate multiple surgeries. We will obtain all necessary insurance authorizations, and can provide attractive self-pay options.
Venous insufficiency of the superficial leg veins (the greater (or long) saphenous, lesser (or short) saphenous, and perforator veins), is treated with the minimally invasive VNUS (or Venefit) Closurefast procedure. During treatment, the physician accesses each vein using a catheter. The catheter uses radio-frequency to heat the tip of the catheter. Ultrasound is used to position the catheter in the diseased vein. Once positioned and activated, the heat causes the vein to close in on itself. Blood can no longer flow or pool in this closed vein and is automatically rerouted to healthy veins.
Tortuous veins (veins that are not straight) may also be treated using ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. During this procedure ultrasound is used to position the needle into the diseased vein and sclerosant foam is injected. This causes the vein to close in on itself and it is ultimately reabsorbed by the body.
Varicose veins, the visible, ropey veins, are treated by ambulatory micro-phlebectomy. This procedure removes the veins from the legs through tiny incisions. The incisions are so small that they require no stitches or staples. The physician performs the phlebectomy in conjunction with any necessary vein closures, eliminating the need for repeated surgeries.
“I love having my treatment at Dr. Hammond’s office with Angie. The entire staff is courteous, always smiling and well educated as to the procedures I receive. I have recommended this practice to all of my friends and family members.”