Varicose veins have traditionally been treated by a surgical procedure known as “stripping,” in which the veins were removed via surgical incisions while the patient was under general anesthesia in the operating room. Thanks to advancements in medical treatment and technology, this is no longer the standard way of treating varicose veins. Instead, much less invasive and painful methods that use foam injections (called Sclerotherapy), radiofrequency energy (called Closurefast) or medical grade glue (called Venaseal) are now preferred by most providers and patients.
Varicose Veins Are Easier to Treat Than You May Think
Even with advancements in medicine, the severity of your varicose veins will have the most significant impact on how treatment proceeds. For the people that have varicose veins, some patients experience no symptoms and the veins are simply a cosmetic concern. In most cases, they cause aching pain and discomfort or signal an underlying circulatory problem which might benefit from a more formal medical evaluation by a vein expert.
The other types of veins that may require treatment are reticular veins and true varicose veins. Reticular veins can have a string like appearance on the skin. They’re smaller than varicose veins and usually associated with spider veins. These are most common at the back or side of the leg near the knee. Varicose veins have a diameter of at least 1/10th of an inch, but they can grow to be much larger in some situations.
What Radiofrequency Ablation is for Varicose Veins and Why We Don’t Use It
Radiofrequency ablation treatment, known as Closurefast or laser, uses a specialized catheter to direct gentle heat into the interior of a vein after a local anesthetic. This heat closes off the affected vein while allowing nearby veins that are healthy to continue maintaining blood flow. Any surface-level veins that are connected to the treated vein may also shrink on their own. If not, they can be treated with sclerotherapy afterward if necessary.
Though a better option than vein stripping, here at Inovia we’ve learned that this procedure is still uncomfortable for many patients. Because of this, we only use Sclerotherapy and Venaseal options.
What Are Foam Sclerotherapy Injection Vein Treatments?
Foam sclerotherapy injection treatment uses an FDA approved chemical foam to irritate and close off affected veins. The injection is administered to the affected vein(s), which causes them to shrivel up and fade away. The surrounding healthy veins will continue to provide circulation just as they do with radiofrequency ablation. Injections usually must be administered in multiple separate sessions. This depends on how many veins need to be treated. Your vein doctor can help assess how many sessions will be needed in your case.
This treatment doesn’t require anesthesia, and it is also suitable for spider veins, reticular veins and the smallest varicose veins.
What is Venaseal (Medical Grade Glue)?
This method involves using a specially formulated medical adhesive that is safe for vein procedures. It is used to seal off the connections between healthy veins and diseased veins, ultimately rerouting the blood into healthy veins and providing symptom relief. Your vein doctor will be able to tell you if this is an ideal treatment depending on the condition of your veins.
Which One Is Less Painful?
Compared to vein stripping, both are more tolerated by patients in treatment sessions. With Sclerotherapy and Venaseal being ideal options. Which one is suitable for your condition depends on the type of veins that need to be treated. Foam injection simply isn’t suitable for larger varicose veins, which typically require RFA ablation of the saphenous vein prior.
Your vein physician will know which treatment is best for your veins, and you can view our varicose vein treatment options that are available in Tigard, Oregon prior to a consultation if you like.
In either case, mitigation measures are available to help relieve any discomfort you might experience and make the treatment less painful. If you’re concerned about discomfort, mention your concert to your physician and they’ll help you manage the treatment well.
Our Vein Doctors in Tigard, OR
If you have varicose veins or spider veins that require treatment, schedule a consultation with our physicians. You can meet our vein physicians in Tigard, OR, and they’ll help you determine exactly how to treat your vein condition. This location is in the Bridgeport Village shopping center.