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Understanding the Different Treatments for Your Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are notorious for causing twisted, bulging veins on your legs. These problematic veins don’t just cause cosmetic concerns, though. They frequently cause aches, heaviness, and, if left untreated, can lead to other problems like ulcers.

Whether you’re dealing with varicose veins that hurt, or you simply just don’t like the look of them, you might wonder what treatments are available ― and which one is right for you. We offer a variety of varicose vein treatments at Harlem Cardiology in East Harlem, New York, including laser therapy and sclerotherapy.

Below, Dr. Henock Saint-Jacques highlights five different treatments for eliminating problematic varicose veins.

1. Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat varicose veins without surgery. According to Mayo Clinic, sclerotherapy works by injecting a material (called a sclerosant) into your affected vein. The liquid injection irritates your varicose vein, causing it to swell and close up. Once the varicose vein is sealed shut, your blood reroutes and flows through healthier veins instead. Your body will eventually absorb the varicose vein.

Sclerotherapy might be for you if you have small or medium-sized varicose veins.

2. Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is another nonsurgical treatment option. According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery, this procedure seals off your varicose vein by harnessing the power of radiofrequency (RF) energy delivered through a catheter. The RF waves target the problematic vein, causing it to spasm and shrink. As with scleropathy, your blood is then rerouted to other, healthier veins.

3. Laser therapy

Laser therapy is similar to radiofrequency ablation. However, instead of RF energy targeting your varicose veins, laser therapy relies on concentrated light pulses. During the procedure, the laser sends light pulses to shrink your varicose vein. As a result, scar tissue forms, which seals off your vein. Your blood no longer travels through that vein.

According to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, laser therapy might be right for you if your varicose veins are red and swollen or if the skin above your vein is irritated.

4. Ligation and vein stripping

Vein ligation and stripping is a minor surgical procedure. Ligation refers to surgically tying off veins to prevent blood flow, and stripping refers to the surgical removal of the vein through a small incision. 

You might be a candidate for ligation and stripping if your vein shows evidence of valvular incompetence, according to the experts at Cleveland Clinic. Because the vein is removed, it eliminates the recurrence of blood pooling in that specific vein.

5. Ambulatory phlebectomy

This is another surgical procedure used to treat varicose veins that bulge above the surface of your skin. Like ligation and stripping, the problematic veins are removed, although with this procedure, you only need small punctures, not large incisions.

What to expect after varicose vein treatment

While each treatment method varies, you’ll still need to follow specific post-treatment instructions, including wearing compression garments for a few weeks. Compression garments help to keep the appropriate amount of pressure on your treated vein. You may also need to clear your schedule for a day or two, depending on which treatment you choose. 

Dr. Saint-Jacques guides you step-by-step through your varicose treatment so you’ll know what to expect in terms of preparing for your procedure and recovery. 

If you’d like to say goodbye to varicose veins, call our East Harlem, New York, practice at 646-381-218 to book an appointment. Alternatively, simply request an appointment via our website today.

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