If your legs need more than lifestyle changes, your solution may include a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure that could be done in less than an hour. And it gets better: No cuts, no sutures, no down time. Things have changed dramatically in this field of medicine.
Varicose veins, which can appear blue, red or flesh-tone, bulge from the skin. They are often found on the thighs, the front and back of calves or the inside of the legs near the ankles and feet. In contrast, spider veins, which tend to be red, are smaller than varicose veins and don’t bulge. They are found on the legs—and even the face.
Varicose veins and spider veins occur when the valves in your leg veins stop working properly. Unlike arteries, veins play an important role in directing blood flow from your feet back to your heart, working against the forces of gravity in most situations. When your valves don’t close correctly, your blood stays in the vein, which weakens the walls and cause it to bulge or create new veins to mitigate the buildup of pressure.
Microphlebectomy is a brief procedure that is only offered by skilled vein clinics and remains one of the best options for treating bulging varicose veins. Under local anesthesia, the vein is removed in small sections through tiny incisions during the procedure, which is provided in an office setting.
Spider veins, which impact more than half of women, can often be the first indication of an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency. Sclerotherapy is the most common technique for treating spider veins. This medical procedure involves the injection of a sclerosant into a vein to collapse it.
Radiofrequency ablation, deemed the standard for today’s treatments for venous insufficiency, involves a small catheter that delivers heat to close the abnormal vein. The procedure is minimally invasive, and it can be done in the office.
VenaSeal, which uses a special glue to close damaged veins, and ClariVein, which uses a catheter to treat the diseased vein chemically and mechanically, are other examples of minimally invasive medical procedures. Both procedures are safe and equally as effective as radiofrequency ablation.
For nurses and teachers, who are constantly on their feet to help us, taking proactive steps to counter the negative health aspects of prolonged standing can go a long way towards protecting their legs.