» How to treat varicose veins - General information about treatment of varicose veins
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Rodriguez Palacios® Medical Center Library - Phlebology
By Dr. Juan Carlos Patt, M.D.
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The first thing to be considered is that varicose veins are a disease and, as such, the decision not to treat them has consequences, some of them serious. + Learn more about the consequences of not treating varicose veins
For that reason, it is always advisable to consult a specialist, whether as a preventive action or to start treatment of varicose veins and/or vein disease. Choosing a strategy to address varicose vein problems must always be preceded by a thorough clinical and instrument-assisted examination of each particular case. Only after such an examination can therapy be recommended, which should always be agreed upon with the patient, and thus the consented treatment begins.
There are many treatments available for varicose veins and, depending on the specialist’s recommendation, they vary depending on each patient’s particular condition. At RP Phlebology Center, our phlebologists may prescribe non-surgical treatment, or they may recommend varicose vein surgery (either conventional or minimally invasive laser surgery), or a minor varicose vein micro-surgery.
- Some of the non-surgical treatments include:
- sessions of a variable frequency consisting in administering fibrosing agents through injections into the varicose veins (the solution is selected, prepared and diluted according to different formulae before being injected, depending on each particular case and based on the physician’s judgment). The patient may also be administered “foam” by means of injections. This kind of treatment is painless and, in case some discomfort is felt, it is easily tolerated by the patient. At Rodriguez Palacios Medical Center we use special needles which reduce any potential discomfort. After the treatment, some mild bruising may remain; this bruising is temporary and usually disappears as days go by. Each patient’s particular susceptibility to bruising on the skin is one of the factors which determine the extent of them.
- These treatments are sometimes supplemented with pressure therapy sessions and/or oral medication, with the use of compression stockings according to medical prescription and with other indications to prevent varicose veins.
- When they are recommended, surgical treatments include the following:
- Conventional varicose vein surgery: This kind of surgery requires hospitalization and is reserved for large-size veins. Provided the case so allows, conventional surgery may be performed with laser technique, thus becoming a "laser varicose vein surgery or endoluminal laser varicose vein surgery", which is an outpatient procedure that allows the patient to promptly resume work.
- Endovenous laser treatment: In many cases, this kind of procedure replaces conventional varicose vein surgery, becoming a minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedure which allows the patient to promptly return to work, and with a less complex, less painful post-operative recovery process.
- Varicose vein micro-surgery: the name is self-explanatory, this in an outpatient procedure which involves a minor, short surgery performed on smaller veins or varicose veins. This procedure can be performed through the conventional method or with laser. In the latter case, the laser fiber is introduced through a small incision on the skin to close the vein with laser energy. This procedure only requires local anesthesia.