It is estimated that 40% of women and 25% of men are affected by Varicose Veins and another 8-12 million people in the United States are affected by PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease). The following are common symptoms of both Varicose Veins and PAD: leg pain, cramping, restless legs, fatigue, heaviness, swelling, bulging veins and spider veins. Most of our patients are experiencing one or two of the above symptoms when they initially visit us.
Varicose Veins are enlarged and twisted rope-like veins that appear near the surface of the skin. While they can develop anywhere in the body, they are most commonly found in the legs and ankles because standing and walking increase pressure in the lower extremities. In normally functioning veins, tiny one-way valves open as blood flows toward the heart and close to prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves malfunction, blood pools in the veins, resulting in a buildup of pressure that weakens their walls and causes them to bulge. Over time, the increased pressure can cause additional valves to fail. This venous reflux, or venous insufficiency, leads to the development of varicose veins.
Signs and Symptoms
In addition to the visual appearance, many patients may experience one or more of the following leg symptoms:
- Pain (an aching or cramping feeling)
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Tender areas around the veins
Natural Course of the Diseases:
If you experience symptoms and delay treatment, your symptoms may progress onward to more serious complications including:
- Inflammation (phlebitis)
- Blood clots (e.g., DVT)
- Ankle sores or skin ulcers
Treatment: Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive varicose vein treatment alternative to the more traditional method of ligation and vein stripping. A thin fiber is inserted into the damaged vein via a very small skin nick. Laser light energy, the same type of energy that is used in other types of medical procedures such as eye surgery and dermatology, is delivered to the targeted tissue, which reacts with the light, causing the vein to close and seal shut.
- Treatment in less than an hour.
- Can be performed in the doctor’s office.
- Up to 98% success rate.
- Immediate relief of symptoms.
- Return to normal activity immediately – with little or no pain.
- No general anesthesia or hospitalization.
- Minimal-to-no scarring.
- Typically is covered by insurance.