Vein problems are pretty common, especially among those who are older or are overweight. Fortunately, most types of vein diseases are easily treatable. While some vein problems can be quite serious, the most common are spider veins and varicose veins.
Our team here at Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute in Alexandria, Louisiana, specializes in all types of vein diseases, and we offer evidence-based vein treatments using the latest technology. If you have a vascular issue, consider coming in for a complete evaluation of your vein health. In many cases, a simple outpatient vein treatment is all you need to restore the integrity of your veins and get rid of the unsightly visible veins on your legs.
Why can I see the veins in my legs?
As your blood travels back to your lungs and heart for a fresh supply of oxygen and a powerful pump of momentum, it has to make the journey through a complex network of blood vessels. When it makes the journey up your legs, your blood takes a little help from tiny one-way valves that prevent it from flowing backward.
As you age, these valves may become weak and fail to close completely. If you’ve been carrying around some extra weight, it can also damage the valves by putting excess pressure on them. Standing for hours at a time and other medical conditions can also irritate or weaken the valves.
Whatever the cause, the result is the same — the blood pools in one area, the vessels swell and bulge, and you can see the problem develop as spider veins and varicose veins.
How to get rid of visible veins
Throughout medical history, vein treatments have evolved. From surgically removing damaged veins to pulling them out through an incision to chemically neutralizing them, doctors have tried everything. I prefer to use the power of ultrasound technology in a treatment called endovenous laser treatment or ELVT.
The reason I use this technique is that the procedure is fairly quick, it’s minimally invasive, and it’s highly effective.
During the treatment, I numb your skin and make a tiny incision near the affected vein. Next, I insert a small fiber-optic catheter into your varicose vein and use ultrasound to guide me. Once the catheter is in position, I activate the laser, which is essentially a highly concentrated beam of light, and slowly pull the catheter out.
As the catheter is removed, the laser energy closes the vein in its path and seals it off so blood can no longer flow through it. Your body naturally redirects your blood to healthier nearby veins, and the damaged tissue dies. Over time, your body absorbs the dead tissue and your spider and varicose veins are gone.
Recovering from vein treatment
Your EVLT doesn’t require general anesthesia, so there’s no need to spend time coming out of deep sleep. In fact, we have you up and walking soon after your treatment.
We give you a compression stocking to wear for a few days to maintain light but even pressure on the treatment area, and it’s best to avoid strenuous activity for a couple of weeks while your veins heal. You may notice some slight bruising or swelling, but these symptoms should subside quickly.
While you shouldn’t engage in high-impact exercise, we do recommend that you walk around several times a day to keep your circulation going.
You can give yourself an advantage by prepping a bit before your treatment. For instance, make sure you let me know about any medications and supplements so I can determine whether they’ll hinder your healing. It’s also a good idea to get your home ready for you to relax for a few days. Prepare some meals so you don’t need to stand and cook, and create a comfortable place to elevate your legs while reading, watching TV, or other leisurely activities.
It’s also important to keep your follow-up appointments so I can check the progress and make sure there are no complications.
Most vein treatments are simple and relatively painless, so if you have issues with your veins, don’t hesitate to come see me. To schedule an evaluation, book an appointment online or call us today.