“I had surgery on my leg veins in the past. It was painful and the problems I was having seemed to come right back. I didn’t realize that anything else could be done. Also, I didn’t want to go through the discomfort that I suffered the first time.”
This is a very common comment that get when I see patients who have had procedures done on their varicose veins in the past. Surprisingly, patients in this area of the country are still receiving ligation and stripping, ligation alone, or indiscriminant injections of their varicosities.
Good, well-designed studies have now showed that there is a high recurrence rate associated with ligation and stripping and an even higher one associated with ligation alone.
Get Out-Patient Treatment for Vein Conditions
The good news is that there is available today very effective outpatient treatment for recurrent varicose veins. The patient no longer needs to go to a hospital and no longer needs a general anesthetic.
The key to proper therapy is for patients to seek out and find a specialist who deals with veins. In fact, there is now a rigorous examination that is given to those physicians who would like to call themselves vein specialists. These specialists are called Phlebologists and those who pass the examination are deemed to be Board Certified in Phlebology (the specialty of medicine that concerns itself with veins www.americanboardofphlebology.org).
The vein specialist will realize that the key to understanding venous problems, even if the patient has had previous surgery, is to do a proper ultrasound in order to find out exactly where the problem lies. Usually the problem comes from veins that can’t be seen on the surface. The enlarged surface veins are often the result of an underlying problem. This should be treated first, before attention is given to the surface veins.
After the ultrasound identifies the problems, then an orderly plan for treatment can be developed. This plan is usually unique for each patient. Multiple injections of surface veins are not indicated unless the underlying problems are resolved. In this manner patients can expect a more long lasting result.
After the treatment plan has been carried out, patients with venous problems should be followed on a periodic basis for life. This is because the tendency to develop more venous problems is related to 2 factors that are unchangeable: 1) the underlying quality of the veins they inherited from their parents and 2) the force of gravity which, over time, tends to break down the integrity of the one-way venous valves leading to venous high pressure and varicosities.