Varicose vein disease is a common medical disorder. Heredity, age and pregnancies significantly contribute to the development of varicose veins.
“Patients with symptomatic varicose veins experience pain or aching in the legs, heaviness and fatigue with prolonged standing, swelling, and sometimes tenderness over the dilated veins,” explains Sandra Carr, MD, board certified vascular surgeon at Meriter Wisconsin Heart.
“In advanced cases, a patient may develop discoloration and dark staining of the skin, a red itchy rash, or even sores over the leg and ankle that are difficult to heal. People with large untreated varicose veins can sometimes develop superficial thrombophlebitis, which is hard, tender, reddening vein due to clotted blood under the skin.”
People will often suffer with symptomatic varicose veins for many years because they fear the treatment will be painful or expensive. However, most patients with varicose veins can be treated in the office with less invasive procedures. At the Meriter Wisconsin Heart Comprehensive Vein Care Center, state-of-the-art technology is used to treat diseased veins with minimal pain, little (if any) scarring and quick return to normal activities. Instead of stripping an abnormal saphenous vein, endovenous laser ablation (EVLT) is used to close off a diseased saphenous vein, which diverts blood flow into the normal deep veins.
Painful, bulging varicose branch veins are often treated in the office setting with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves the use of very small needles to inject a solution into the abnormal vein, which causes the vein to collapse and eventually disappear.
Many people develop spider veins over the thighs, lower legs and ankles. Although not painful or dangerous, spider veins are often cosmetically unappealing. Cosmetic vein injections are performed in the office using an FDA approved medication, Asclera (polidocanol).
Although varicose veins are often easily seen on physical exam, it is necessary to look at vein function to identify areas of abnormal blood flow to make an appropriate treatment plan. Duplex ultrasound is a painless exam to determine which larger feeding veins are abnormal. The accredited vascular lab and experienced technologists at Meriter Wisconsin Heart are able to perform accurate, painless ultrasound exams in the office.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit the Vein Care Center webpage or call Meriter Wisconsin Heart at 608.260.2100.