Varicose veins can cause pain, swelling, and throbbing in the legs. They're also a cosmetic embarrassment for many people. The experienced physicians at Association of South Bay Surgeons in Torrance, California and San Pedro, CA, offer effective vein treatment options including endovenous ablation, sclerotherapy, and ambulatory phlebectomy for their patients.
Endovenous ablation is a treatment for varicose veins. This type of treatment is minimally invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis. The doctor places a catheter within the vein with the help of ultrasound guidance. An ablation probe is then moved upwards in the great saphenous vein. Patients won't experience pain during endovenous ablation thanks to anesthetic surrounding the treatment area. Radiofrequency or laser energy is sent to the vein interior, which heats the inner vein to high level. The vein reacts by sealing itself closed. Eventually, the sealed off vein dies completely due to lack of blood supply. Although endovenous ablation is often done for cosmetic reasons, it's also done to relieve a number of symptoms like leg pain, leg swelling, leg ulcers, and vein inflammation.
Sclerotherapy is a treatment for both varicose and spider veins. In sclerotherapy, a liquid called a sclerosing solution is injected into each vein. The sclerosing solution causes intense irritation within the vein, resulting in the vein walls swelling up, the clotting of the blood within the vein, and the vein walls essentially gluing themselves together. Eventually the vein withers and vanishes due to lack of blood supply. This treatment is done both for cosmetic and medically necessary reasons. It help relieves symptoms like leg pain, leg swelling, leg ulcers, and vein inflammation.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is usually done only on very large or quite painful superficial varicose veins that don't respond to treatments like endovenous ablation or sclerotherapy. This treatment is done as an outpatient procedure. Patients are under local anesthesia during the procedure and won't be in pain. During an ambulatory phlebectomy, the damaged or diseased veins are individually removed via tiny incisions or punctures. Since veins can be collapsed before removal, even the larger varicose veins can be taken out via small incisions. The incisions don't require stitches, and only tiny puncture marks can be seen after the procedure. Patients wear compression dressings for support after an ambulatory phlebectomy.
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