Cosmetic vein-surgery & sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a concentrated saline or specially-developed solution into the spider or varicose vein. The solution then hardens, causing the vein to close up or collapse. Healthier blood vessels located nearby absorb the blood flow of the collapsed vein.
Foam sclerotherapy (varicose vein zapper)
The veins are injected with a special foam through a tiny needle directly into the veins. The foam pushes the blood along the veins to 'deflate' the unsightly bulges. Patients generally need around 10 injections in each leg if being involved the whole superficial vein-system. The effect is enhanced by use of ultrasound quidance.
Patients may experience slight discomfort during the injections and some people also experience a dull ache a few hours afterwards.
The procedure takes 30-40 minutes, after which a firm compression bandage is applied to the treated areas. This must be worn for up two weeks afterwards.
Possible complications associated with the sclerotherapy:
- pigmentation changes, brownish skin spots near the treated area may appear, and maytake several months (or even up to a year) to fade.
- allergic reaction and scarring, reactions from the injected chemical solution, as well as permanent scarring, may result.
- telangiectatic matting, this reaction involves the appearance of fine, reddish blood vessels near the treated area. Treatment for this condition may require further injections.
- blood clots, treatment could cause blood clots in the veins.
Cosmetic vein-surgery: Vein stripping & mini-phlebectomy
The surgical approach involves the 'stripping out' of great superficial veins via 2-4 small cuts and removal of the accessorial branches via minimal skin-holes as 2-3 mm. The remaining scars are almost invisible.
Possible complications associated with the surgery:
- Damage of great leg artery or vein
- Numbness of skin areas: localized and generally transient
The best way to assess what is best for you is to speak with your surgeon to help determine the most effective course of action for you.
More about veins...
Varicose veins are known as abnormally and irregularly swollen veins (the blood vessels that return blood to the heart from the body tissues). The most common form of varicose veins progresses downward in either or both of the two large veins near the surface of the leg.
Varicose veins have been known to be one of the most common problems of blood vessels. About 15% of all adults eventually develop some form of this condition, but the condition occurs four times more often in women than in men.
Varicose veins are a condition that develops over time, but once they appear, the progression will not be alleviated without outside help. Sometimes hormonally triggered, pregnancy is not a cause, but varicose veins tend to develop or worsen during pregnancy. This is due in part to increased pressure from the uterus on the pelvic and leg veins, increasing the blood volume and changing hormones.
Causes and Risk Factors of Varicose Veins
- Weakened vein walls – with age, the walls of the veins tend to lose their elasticity. This weakening is known as ballooning out, or stretching.
- Valve failure – when veins become stretched, valves in the veins will fail. These valves normally help keep blood flowing from the legs and arms back to the heart. If vein walls are systematically weakened and stretched, they spread apart. These valves may no longer keep blood flowing upward against gravity, resulting in stagnate blood in veins.
- Vein damage - Damage can be due in part to injury, blood clot formation or inflammation. Symptoms associated with deep vein issues will accompany pain and swelling in the lower limbs as well. Swollen surface veins may be a sign of damage to deep veins
- Varicose veins on the surface of the legs are not usually associated with dangerous blood clots that may travel to your heart or lungs, causing an embolism. Any clot that forms near the surface will generally be small, although there may be inflammation, the clot does not seriously threaten one’s health.
- Aching – Legs may ache and feel fatigued if sitting or standing for lengthy periods of time.
- Disfigurement - Veins can bulge or appear twisted to a certain point or for the entire length of the leg, or the alternative may be a slight outline of bluish veins. If the condition is severe, the skin covering the legs may become swollen, dry or irritated. This can lead to a formation of brownish discoloration in the lower leg region.
- Itching – The skin can become dry and irritated over the vein.Inflammation - Sections of the vein may become engorged with blood; swollen, firm, red and tender after long periods of sitting or standing. This is a condition known as phlebitis.
- Bleeding - Relatively uncommon, varicose veins may be injured by a nick or cut due to their large size, in relation to the surface of the skin and often covered by thin skin.
- Ulcers – Demonstrated as open sores. They may appear near the ankles, where swelling can also be apparent.
Treatment of Varicose Veins
For those with mild symptoms, an initial step would be to compress leg veins by means of support stockings. This is a simple measure serving to squeeze the blood out of the engorged vein, reducing the size. There are some brands of compression hose that provide greater support around the ankles and lower legs (where varicose veins tend to be the longest and the most painful). These stockings can extend to the upper thigh and groin, but for many, the advantage of providing pressure and relief to the entire leg is offset by the discomfort and expense of these compressive stockings.
There are alternative treatments for those who cannot be treated with the hose
Advanced treatment of varicose veins
Specific treatment varicose veins will be determined by your physician based on:
- age, overall health, and medical history.
- extent of the condition.
- tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies.
- realistic expectations for the course of the condition and treatment.
Scletotherapy: see above
Vein-stripping & mini-phlebectomy: see above
Ambulatory phlebectomy involves the removal of a vein by tiny punctures or incisions along the path of the enlarged and inflamed vein. Through the tiny holes, the surgeon uses a surgical hook to remove the varicose vein.
This procedure involves sealing off of the vein with the use of an electrical current by laser surgery or intense pulsed light therapy. Abnormal veins may be destroyed by high-intensity laser beams or intense pulsating light.