Varicose veins are veins with valves that no longer work correctly. Instead of helping to pump blood against gravity towards the heart, these valves don’t close correctly, which allows blood to leak backwards and pool in the veins. The pooling blood causes the swollen, ropey appearance of veins in the legs, and sometimes in other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
- Legs aching and throbbing
- Tired legs
- Heavy legs
- Restless legs, especially at night
- Visible swollen or ropey veins in the legs
- Spider veins – small, dark colored veins that typically form on the upper thigh, below the knee joint, and around the ankles
- Skin changes, including brownish discoloration, flaking, or itching
The tired, aching feeling may get worse as the day goes on, especially if you spend time on your feet. Even though you don’t have visible signs, you may still have varicose veins.
At Premier Vein & Pain Center in Loveland CO, we use a combination of strategies for varicose veins treatment and management, including conservative therapy:
Compression therapy: Wearing compression stockings puts gentle pressure on the legs to help keep the blood from pooling and decrease the swelling of the varicose veins.
Elevation: Keeping your legs elevated, especially above your heart, when you are sitting, resting, or sleeping helps to keep the blood from pooling or leaking backwards in the varicose veins.
Exercise: Exercise helps to improve the tone in your leg muscles, which, in turn, helps to keep the blood moving in your veins.
If conservative therapy for your varicose veins fails, we may recommend interventional procedures. We follow the current guidelines recommended by national experts on the treatment of venous disease to treat varicose veins, which may include one or a combination of the following procedures:
Venefit™ Targeted Endovenous Therapy
This minimally invasive treatment uses radio-frequency (RF) energy to treat patients suffering from varicose veins. The heat produced by the RF energy contracts the collagen in the walls of the unhealthy vein, which makes it shrink and seal closed. This stops the blood flow and decreases the visibility of the vein and the related painful symptoms. Because the veins in the interior of the leg carry most of the blood, other healthy veins take on the blood flow of the closed vein, resulting in better blood flow overall in the legs.
How Venefit works: Dr. Quickert administers a local anesthetic around the vein to be treated, then inserts a special thin tube (the ClosureFast™ catheter) about the size of a strand of spaghetti into the vein. The catheter provides a uniform heat from RF energy, which is used to heat the inside of the vein and seal it closed. Most patients report feeling little, if any, pain during the procedure. The whole treatment usually takes less than an hour. You will be given compression stockings to wear to help your leg heal, and you can return to normal activity with little to no pain. Most patients report a noticeable improvement in their varicose veins within one to two weeks following the procedure.
Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT)
Like Venefit, endovenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. The procedures are similar, except endovenous laser ablation uses heat from a laser, instead of RF energy, to close varicose veins, stopping the blood flow and decreasing their visibility and painful symptoms. Learn more about EVLT from our Vein Center Resources.
Sometimes, to relieve symptoms, complete removal of varicose veins closest to the surface of your skin is necessary. If this is what we recommend for you, the procedure involves first numbing the surface of the skin over the vein. Then Dr. Quickert will make small cuts in your skin over the vein and remove portions of the vein through the cuts. The cuts are tiny and only require a small dressing when the procedure is over. Dr. Quickert will give you compression stockings to wear to help your leg heal, and you can go home on the same day as the procedure.
Sclerotherapy treats spider veins and other small varicose veins. Using a tiny needle while being guided by ultrasound, Dr. Quickert injects a small amount of a chemical solution in a foam form into the spider vein or varicose vein. The chemical damages the lining of the vein, which causes the vein to close. The foam allows a larger area to be treated while using less chemical solution. You will be given compression stockings to wear to help your leg heal, and you can go home the same day the procedure is done.
An important and essential element in the treatment of varicose veins is proper follow-up evaluation and care. Our services include follow-up care consisting of ultrasound and clinical evaluation, and any further treatment that our providers may recommend to ensure we have taken care of your varicose veins.
To find out which procedure is right to treat your varicose veins, schedule a Free Vein Screening.
Conveniently located to Loveland, Johnstown, and Fort Collins and serving Haxtun and Bridgeport communities, Premier Vein & Pain Center’s leading experts in vein disease and varicose veins treatment are dedicated to helping correct your medical and cosmetic vein issues with shorter recovery times and improved long-term results.