Do I need surgery for varicose veins?

Don’t allow fear of having an office procedure keep you from seeking treatment for your varicose veins. Non-invasive treatment options have largely replaced varicose vein surgery, such as vein stripping, have been replaced by safer treatment options. Varicose veins are not only a cosmetic problem; they are a health problem, too, and should be evaluated and treated by a vein specialist. Delaying your evaluation only leads to the problem getting worse.

Are you ready to learn about the different non-invasive “walk in, walk out” solutions to venous disease at Vein Specialists of the South? Find out how we treat varicose veins in the 21st century.

varicose vein surgery


Non-Surgical Alternatives to Varicose Vein Stripping

In the past, treating saphenous vein reflux, the most common underlying cause of varicose veins, almost always required vein stripping. Vein stripping required general anesthesia with large incisions in a hospital setting in order to remove the unhealthy saphenous vein. Introduced in 2000, minimally invasive heat induced endovenous therapy largely replaced vein stripping. Dr. Harper was the first vein specialist in Georgia to perform an endovenous procedure, and it remains the most effective way to treat saphenous vein reflux.

In the past 24 months, however, other minimally invasive treatments methods have provided vein specialists with new options to consider when choosing the right procedure for the right patient at the right time.  Options for saphenous reflux treatment now include:

  • Non-Thermal: VenaSeal Adhesive Therapy
  • Heat-Induced Endovenous Therapy
  • Non-Thermal: Varithena Microfoam Sclerotherapy

Learn more about these varicose vein surgery alternatives below.

Non-Thermal: VenaSeal Adhesive Therapy

VenaSeal is a unique, non-thermal based, FDA-approved method using a medical grade adhesive to eliminate reflux in the saphenous vein. Dr. Harper was the first vein specialist in middle and central Georgia to provide this treatment in June of 2016. During the VenaSeal treatment, we place an IV catheter directly into the vein to be treated. Using ultrasound imaging, we then place the adhesive product into the unhealthy vein, sealing it shut. In many cases, compression is not necessary after the procedure, and full activity can be resumed immediately. If large, bulging varicose veins are also present, we may recommend a micro- phlebectomy at the time of the VenaSeal treatment or at a later date.

 Heat-Induced Endovenous Therapy

Endovenous therapy uses a laser fiber within a thin tube that is passed into the affected vein. We will guide the tube into the treatment area with the help of ultrasound imaging. With this tube, a laser will eradicate the vein. Endovenous therapy is an excellent therapeutic choice for larger veins where some other treatment methods might not be advised. Additionally, light sedation or local anesthesia makes the procedure safer and your recovery faster. Endovenous laser therapy is generally faster to recover from than varicose vein surgery, and it can provide instant relief from symptoms and an improvement in the overall appearance of your legs.

Your vein specialist uses ultrasound guidance to position the Endovenous therapy catheter in the affected vein. The catheter delivers heat energy to eradicate the vein. Heat induced endovenous therapy is an excellent therapeutic choice if you have reflux in the saphenous vein. There is over 18 years of clinical data to support the long term success of these treatments.

We recommend compression for 10-14 days after your endovenous procedure. If you have large bulging veins, you will most likely need a micro-ambulatory phlebectomy in addition to an endovenous procedure to achieve cosmetic and symptomatic relief.

Non-Thermal: Varithena Microfoam Sclerotherapy

Varithena is an FDA-approved proprietary micro-foam sclerosing agent for the ultrasound guided treatment of saphenous vein reflux and branch varicose veins. Dr. Harper was the first to offer this therapy and is the most experienced vein specialist in middle and central Georgia offering Varithena.

The sclerosing agent irritates the lining of the vein wall. This makes the vein collapse, and blood flow naturally reroutes to healthier veins. We recommend compression therapy after treatment, as it decreases the risks of trapped blood, tenderness, and skin discoloration in the treated vein segments. Evacuation of the trapped blood relieves the tenderness and lowers the risk of skin pigmentation. If discoloration occurs, it typically improves over time. In some cases, additional injection therapies may be necessary. If large bulging varicose veins are present, we may recommend micro-ambulatory phlebectomy as well.

Is the Ambulatory Phlebectomy Considered Varicose Vein Surgery?

An ambulatory phlebectomy is an outpatient procedure in which a vein specialist makes very small micro-incisions (2 mm) in your skin to gently remove your bulging superficial varicose veins. Unlike vein stripping, this procedure does not require general anesthesia, pain, lengthy recover, large incision, or even a visit to the hospital. Your micro-ambulatory phlebectomy is an office-based treatment performed under a gentle local anesthesia with mild oral sedation if you request it. Soon after your procedure, you can return home and resume normal activities. It really is ‘walk in walk out, with little to no down time.’

In short, an ambulatory phlebectomy is not your mother’s varicose vein surgery.

Schedule Your Varicose Vein Evaluation and Treatment in Central Georgia

Do you frequently find yourself wearing pants in the hottest part of the summer to hide your veins? Are you tired of declining invitations to pool parties or avoiding the beach due to embarrassment? Do you experience pain, swelling or discomfort as a result of your varicose veins? Are you fearful of having varicose vein surgery to correct the problem? If you answer yes to any of these questions VSS is the right choice for you.

Since 1997, Vein Specialists of the South has been treating patients just like you in Middle Georgia and Central Georgia. We are dedicated to finding the best venous disease treatments to suit your specific needs. Dr. Harper and the region’s most experienced team of vein specialists are here to answer your questions while offering the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Contact us today to schedule your vein consultation and get started on the path toward ‘better veins for life.’

Over 18,000 Procedures Performed

Dr. Kenneth Harper, founder of Vein Specialists of the South, has evaluated more than 22,000 patients and performed over 18,000 procedures since 2000. Dr. Harper is a leader in comprehensive vein care, having focused on diagnosis and treatments for varicose veins, spider veins, venous ulcers, and leg swelling since 1997.

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