This is a continuation in our series of often asked questions regarding treatment of veins.
Do I Have to Wear Support Stockings?
Medical grade, properly fitted support hose are important in the treatment of bad veins for 3 reasons:
1- They can relieve symptoms. Many patients find that after they
start wearing stockings they continue to wear them because the pain, swelling, and fatigue in the legs go away.
2- They can slow down the progression of venous disease.
3- They need to be worn after a procedure to maximize the quality of the results. We generally require patients to wear them during the day for 2-3 weeks after a procedure, such as sclerotherapy or laser ablation.
What About Dangerous Blood Clots? Will I Get Them?
Since we are dealing with the vascular system, there is always the risk of blood clots being formed. Blood clots in the deep venous system in the lower extremities are the ones we worry about. If they get into this system they can damage the vein valves and break loose and go to the lungs as a potentially life threatening pulmonary embolus [a clot that travels to the lungs]. In experienced hands, the chance of one of these forming with laser therapy is very low. The chance of a dangerous clot forming with sclerotherapy is higher than with the laser, but is also very low
Someone in My Family has a Clotting Disorder; They Make Clots Easily. Do I Have to Worry?
People who make clots easily have most likely inherited this trait. If you, or someone in your family has this condition, you need to tell your physician before any surgical procedure is done. You may need to have an investigation done to find out whether you have a clotting problem. This may very well impact the treatment you receive before, during and after your operation.
Will I Have Much Scaring After My Vein Treatment?
No. Almost all treatments utilizing modern techniques for vein disorders can be delivered through a needle stick. Even the technique of ambulatory phlebectomy whereby multiple small needle stick incisions are used to remove large surface varicosities results in barely discernible small scars once they are completely healed.
Are the Modern Treatments for Varicose Veins Similar to Vein Stripping?
NO! Ligation and vein stripping techniques for the most part can be put into the bin labeled “OBSOLETE”. There is very little place for such operations in the hands of a well trained vein specialist. Here is a list of things that vein stripping requires that laser treatment doesn’t: hospitalization, incisions up to 5cm, general anesthesia, 3 week average recovery time, massive swelling, weeks of significant pain, 50-65% recurrence rate within 5 years.
Next week, in Part 4 of our series, we will continue with often-asked questions.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Ruess of Five Star Vein Institute to discuss issues you might be having with veins. Click here to find out how to contact Five Star Vein.