More than 40 million Americans have painful, swollen legs due to varicose veins and other types of venous disease. If you're one of them, minimally invasive treatment options are available.
Venous disease occurs with faulty valves in the veins. In a healthy vein, there are one-way valves that allow the blood to move toward the heart, but not away. In a diseased vein, these valves don't work properly, allowing the blood to fall downward between heartbeats. This back and forth motion of blood leads to increased venous blood pressure resulting in inflammation of the tissues around the vein.
The main risk factor for venous disease is something you can’t control: your genes. If your parents had varicose veins, you have an 89% chance of developing them.
In addition to heredity, other risk factors include:
Symptoms of venous disease may include:
The most common types of venous diseases we treat are spider veins and varicose veins. Spider veins are clusters of red or purple thread-like veins just under the skin. Varicose veins are bulging, rope-like veins that usually get larger over time.
Venous disease can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure called endovenous thermal ablation. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the diseased vein using a tiny incision. Heat is applied to the vein wall, causing it to close. The body then naturally re-routes the blood through other healthy veins.
Because the procedure is done under local anesthetic, you likely will be up and walking immediately after the procedure and return to normal activities the same day. Most people notice immediate relief of symptoms. Most major insurance companies, including Medicare, cover this procedure.