Once a vein becomes dysfunctional, there is no way to return it to its previous state. We can’t make varicose veins healthy again, but we can improve your circulation by re-routing the blood through other, non-damaged blood vessels. The goal of any vein surgery is to reduce unpleasant symptoms and prevent varicose veins from worsening.
Depending on the nature and severity of your dysfunctional veins, a vein surgeon might consider any of these procedures:
- Sclerotherapy: This is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a chemical called a sclerosant to seal off a damaged vein. The chemical is generally a liquid or a foam that’s injected into the damaged vein. Once inside, it agitates the vein walls, causing them to develop scar tissue that will, ultimately, seal off the vein. Once sealed, its appearance will fade. Sclerotherapy can be used on both varicose and spider veins.
- Laser surgery: This technique is mostly used for small spider veins. It’s a primarily cosmetic procedure that uses laser light to heat up veins through the skin, sealing them closed and causing them to fade. This treatment involves no incisions or injections.
- Ablation therapy: This is a type of vein surgery where a varicose vein is sealed off by using the heat from a laser or radio waves. This heat source is applied through a catheter inserted into the vein. Just one incision is made to insert the catheter.
- Phlebectomy: In some cases, a vein may need to be removed entirely rather than just sealed off. This is often the case when a varicose vein occurs very close to the surface of the skin. To complete an ambulatory phlebectomy, the doctor will make a series of small cuts in the skin along the vein, removing the vein in sections. This procedure is completed under local anesthetic.
If you are suffering from varicose and spider veins, talk to a doctor about your options. The staff at UNM Vein & Cosmetic Center will be happy to provide you with a consultation and help you decide which procedure is right for you.