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Venous Insufficiency 

Chronic venous insufficiency is an ongoing condition in which the valves in your leg veins are weakened or damaged, causing blood to back up and pool in your veins – this is referred to as stasis. Chronic venous insufficiency also prevents your blood from effectively reaching your heart.

What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is caused by weakened or damaged valves in your veins. The job of your veins is to carry blood throughout your body, and the valves in your veins are what allow your blood to pass through your veins to get to where it’s needed. When the valves in your veins malfunction, blood that should be flowing up to your heart may flow back down into your legs, depriving your heart of blood. Factors that may increase your risk of developing chronic venous insufficiency include:

  • Being overweight

  • Being over the age of 50

  • Being pregnant or having multiple pregnancies

  • Smoking

  • Coming from a family with a  history of chronic venous insufficiency

  • Having a history of blood clots

  • Smoking

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), standing for extended periods of time, or sitting for extended periods of time may also cause your valves to become weak or damaged.

If left untreated, capillaries in your legs may rupture, causing patches of thin red lines to appear under the skin. This can manifest into swelling or ulcers. Ulcers may be difficult to heal and have a high risk of becoming infected. Speaking with your doctor if you display any signs of chronic venous insufficiency, can help you receive treatment early on and potentially prevent the onset of ulcers.

Image of venous insufficiency and varicose veins

Venous Ablation

Venous ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins. It is one of the more advanced treatments available, and is used as an alternative to more uncomfortable varicose vein procedures. In the past, the only options for eliminating varicose veins were stripping or ligation, which were invasive and required a recovery time of up to two weeks. Vein ablation has changed all of that, using radiofrequency (RF) technology to get rid of veins in an effective, virtually painless way.

When you choose to undergo vein ablation, you have chosen a procedure that will restore the function and aesthetics that have been marred by varicose veins. This outpatient treatment is safe, requires no anesthesia, and can be performed in our office in about an hour.

Vein ablation procedures treated the abnormal veins

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Am I a Candidate for Ambulatory Phlebectomy?

When you come in to be treated for varicose veins, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history and perform diagnostic testing, which may include an ultrasound, to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment. There are a number of procedures available to treat varicose veins. Some of these treatments include laser therapy, radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, and phlebectomy. In certain patients, a combination of treatments will be recommended.

What to Expect from the Procedure?

When you come in for your procedure your vascular and interventional radiologist (VIR) will have you stand so your varicose veins can be easily identified and marked. The treatment area will be sterilized and a local anesthetic will be injected around your varicose veins to numb the area, loosen the veins away from the adjacent tissue, and compress the surrounding capillaries to reduce post-procedure bleeding.

Next, tiny incisions or needle pokes are made over your varicose veins, and they are pulled out in sections using special vein hooks. When all the targeted veins have been removed, a dressing will be placed over the incisions and your leg will be wrapped tightly in a compression bandage.

Ambulatory phlebectomy at houston vein and vascular

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to remove varicose veins through small punctures or incisions in your skin.

Venous ablation utilizes radiofrequency energy to eradicate damaged and ineffective veins. The medical lasers used in this treatment deliver light energy with extreme precision, affecting only the targeted area without harming any of the surrounding veins or tissue. At Houston Vein and Vascular, our doctors have undergone extensive training and are experienced in venous ablation. You can be sure that you are in capable hands when you are at Houston vein and vascular.

Before you come in for your vein ablation treatment, we will have identified the varicose vein or veins that require treatment. When you arrive for your scheduled procedure, you will get comfortable on the operating table, and your doctor will apply local anesthetic around the treatment area to prepare you for the ablation therapy.

During your vein ablation procedure, a thin catheter is inserted into the varicose vein via a small needle, where we use ultrasound imaging to pinpoint the problem area and determine where the laser will need to be positioned. Once that process has been completed, the catheter is slowly pulled back through the vein, emitting radiofrequency (RF) energy as it goes. This RF energy generates a reaction in the vein tissue, damaging the vein walls and causing it to seal shut. Once the vein has collapsed and closed, the blood is automatically diverted to healthy, viable veins. This will not only fix the cosmetic issue of varicose veins, but allow for an increase in your circulation, relieving the discomfort you experienced as a result of your damaged veins.

After the catheter is removed, your doctor will apply a compression bandage over the small incision where the probe was inserted to reduce swelling, bruising and bleeding.

We offer this minimally invasive procedure at Houston Vein and Vascular. 

Scleotherapy

Are unsightly varicose or spider veins causing you to feel embarrassed or self-conscious

in your skin? Nearly 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men suffer from

venous insufficiency, making visible veins an all-too-common concern for many.

These problem veins are not just a cosmetic nuisance; when left untreated, they

can lead to potentially uncomfortable symptoms as well as a number of health

complications, including a number of skin conditions and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Venous insufficiency and spider veins can cause pain

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is often considered to be the gold standard when it comes to treating insufficient veins. It is a minimally-invasive and highly effective therapy that is designed to eliminate prominent varicose and spider veins. The sclerotherapy method involves the injection of a specialized solution that works to irritate the lining of the affected vein. Over time, the solution causes the targeted vein to close off and redirect blood flow to healthy veins. The treated vein will eventually turn into scar tissue, which is then processed and eliminated naturally by the body. At Interventional and Vascular Consultants, we have helped countless patients achieve better vein health and a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance with sclerotherapy.

Am I a Candidate for Sclerotherapy?

When you visit Interventional and Vascular Consultants for the treatment of varicose or spider veins, your doctor will first sit down with you to discuss your medical history, concerns and what to expect from your results. Diagnostic testing may be performed, which will likely include ultrasound imaging to ensure accuracy during the procedure.

Ideal candidates for sclerotherapy are men and women who are bothered by the appearance or uncomfortable side effects of insufficient veins and meet the following criteria:

  • Have realistic expectations

  • Are between the ages of 30 and 60

  • Are not pregnant or breastfeeding for a period of at least three months

  • Understand that sclerotherapy will not prevent the development of new insufficient veins

 

Your candidacy for sclerotherapy will depend on your specific diagnosis and consultation with your

interventional radiologist (IR) at Houston Vein and Vascular. However, if you are currently suffering from painful or unsightly veins, sclerotherapy may be an appropriate solution for you. The best way to find out if sclerotherapy is right for you is to call our office and schedule your initial consultation.

What to Expect From the Procedure?

 

Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive and straightforward procedure performed in an outpatient setting at IVC. The treatment will typically take between 30 to 45 minutes to complete depending on your concerns. Your doctor will use a very fine needle to inject the vein-dissolving solution into the varicose and spider veins. You may feel small needle sticks and possibly a mild burning sensation, but most patients tolerate the treatment well. The number of veins that can be addressed during your treatment session will vary by the size and location of the affected veins.

If bulging varicose veins or discolored spider veins are causing you to experience leg pain, soreness or swelling, or are merely standing in the way of your self-confidence, Interventional and Vascular Consultants are here to help. Our doctors will help to identify the underlying cause of your venous insufficiency to alleviate your symptoms and help you to avoid further issues in the years to come. Now is the time to take action and improve the function and appearance of your veins by scheduling a consultation appointment at Interventional and Vascular Consultants today.

Here at Houston Vein and Vascular, we offer full breadth of venous insufficiency treatments including venous ablation, ambulatory phlebotomy, sclerotherapy, DVT thrombectomy, and venous stenting.  

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