- Q. What is the best treatment for varicose or spider veins?
A variety of treatment options are offered for vein removal by Denver Vein Center. In some cases the best treatment will involve combined procedures; these include endovenous laser therapy, injection sclerotherapy or ambulatory phlebectomy. This is where Experience Counts. A personalized treatment plan will be recommended by our board certified surgeon during your initial consultation.
- Q. What is a vein closure laser?
ELAS, or endovenous laser therapy, involves placing a thin laser filament into the vein through a needle puncture in the lower leg. Laser energy is used to heat the vein from inside, causing it to close down. Closure by laser has a 98% rate of completely closing down the vein. Each patient will be evaluated by our surgeon to determine which treatment is best for them.
- Q. Does this replace vein stripping?
Yes. Using a laser to close the vein is a painless, minimally invasive alternative to vein stripping. With classic vein removal the leg vein is actually pulled from the body which results in long recovery times, large incisions and a higher possibility of recurrence. Recurrence rates with stripping are as high as 23% due to the damage to the surrounding tissues1, 2. ELAS and the other treatment options offered by Denver Vein Center provide excellent alternatives to this outdated procedure.
- Q. What about closures using radio frequency technology?
Radio frequency ablation is administered in the same manner as the ELAS procedure, but uses RF energy rather than laser energy to heat the vein to cause the vein to shrink. However, studies have shown that the ELAS procedure has a higher rate of acceptable results.
- Q. Is Phlebectomy the same a vein stripping?
No. Ambulatory Phlebectomy is different from the classic vein stripping procedure. A phlebectomy is localized to the surface area where the varicose vein exists. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, the incision is very small which leaves minimal or no scarring. Patients walk out of the office, and most are able to resume work and their normal activities within just a few days. A phlebectomy is often combined with ELAS for best results.
- Q. What is injection sclerotherapy?
An FDA-approved solution is injected into the vein through a microneedle, to induce an inflammatory reaction which causes the vein to seal shut, gradually shrink away and disappear. Once the vein is sealed, the body reroutes blood into healthier veins.
- Q. Who are candidates for treatment?
Any individual who has spider or varicose veins is a candidate, and both large and small veins can be treated effectively.
- Q. How many treatments are required?
The number of treatments to provide you with the results you want to achieve will be determined during your initial consultation session, where a personalized treatment plan will be developed. For most large bulging veins, one treatment is all that is needed. Spider veins do require several treatments. For spider veins the average person requires 3-5 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart in order to get resolution.
- Q. Will it hurt?
Most patients experience little or no pain, and any discomfort lasts only a fraction of a second. Topical anesthesia or ice packs can be applied for pain sensitive patients. While the amount of post treatment pain varies from one patient to another, most require only Tylenol or ibuprofen for any discomfort.
- Q. What about side effects?
Most treatments have minimal side effects and recovery time. Patients often experience slight redness or bruising following treatment, but this goes away within a few days.
- Q. What about post-procedural care?
The overwhelming majority of patients treated for varicose veins or spider veins walk out of the office and return to normal daily activities including work within two days. While the amount of post treatment pain varies from one patient to another, most require only Tylenol or ibuprofen for any discomfort. Detailed written and verbal instructions will be provided to each patient both before and after treatment.