Varicose veins affect millions of men and women, and they become more common as we get older or gain weight. In their earliest stages, varicose veins may be little more than purplish lines under the skin. But without care, they can eventually become bulging, twisted, ropy veins that don't only look ugly but also cause symptoms like pain, burning sensations, itchy skin, or tired or heavy feelings in the legs.
Varicose veins form when tiny valves inside the veins begin to malfunction, interfering with the normal forward flow of blood, and they won't get better on their own. In fact, without a doctor's care, they'll just get worse. While treating varicose veins used to mean large incisions and prolonged recovery times, today there are minimally-invasive techniques that help people get rid of varicose veins and the symptoms they cause. Varithena® is one of the most effective of these innovative approaches, using a special foam agent injected into the veins to close them off, so the blood is rerouted to neighboring healthy veins.
How does Varithena® vein treatment work?
Varithena® is the only foam treatment that's been approved by the FDA to treat large leg veins. Once injected into the vein, the foam irritates the vein lining, causing it to close. After treatment, the body redirects blood to neighboring veins so circulation is improved and varicose vein symptoms are resolved. The nonsurgical treatment can be completed in the office in less than an hour using a local anesthetic.
What are the benefits of Varithena vein treatment?
Varithena® uses no large incisions, so the risks of infections and bleeding complications are minimized, and there's no risk of heat damage that can occur with techniques that use lasers or radiofrequency energy to treat varicose veins. Plus, there's no downtime – you'll just need to avoid heavy or strenuous activity for a week or so while the vein heals.
What happens during Varithena vein treatment?
First, the treatment area will be numbed with a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort during the procedure. Next, the foam is injected using a needle or a thin, flexible catheter inserted through a tiny puncture incision in the leg. Once the vein has been treated, a compression bandage is applied, and you'll be discharged after a brief period of observation. Compression stockings will need to be worn for about two weeks to promote healing in the area. While a single treatment is often sufficient, some patients may need additional injections to treat very large veins.
Am I a candidate for Varithena vein treatment?
Varithena® can be an excellent option for many patients with large varicose veins in the legs, but it's not always the best choice. In general, patients with blood clots in their legs are not good candidates for Varithena®, and people who are allergic to the active agent, polidocanol, should select a different procedure. Before any treatment, Dr. Stevens will perform an examination and evaluation, including a personal medical history, to ensure Varithena® is the best and most appropriate approach. During and immediately after the procedure, patients will be monitored to watch for signs of allergic reactions so they can be promptly treated.
Dr. Stevens is a top-ranked vein doctor in San Luis Obispo with significant experience in successfully performing Varithena® vein treatment in both men and women. To find out if Varithena® is right for you, call the office today and schedule a consultation and evaluation.