TREATMENTS FOR VEIN CONDITIONS used to involve tying the offending vein off and removing it from under the skin, but now there are less invasive and less painful options. Here are a few:
• Endovenous approaches include endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), endovenous laser therapy (EVLT), and radio frequency therapy (RF). These minimally invasive treatments close large varicose veins in the legs. A tiny fiber delivers radio waves or laser heat to seal the vein shut. A patient’s body will eventually reabsorb the vein, allowing the blood to be diverted to healthy veins in the leg.
• Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat smaller veins. The provider uses tiny needles to inject a medicine called a sclerosing agent into the vein. This substance causes the vein to become sticky and seal shut, causing it to disappear. Sclerotherapy can be performed either with ultrasound guidance or light assistance.
• Ambulatory phlebectomy is an out-patient procedure used to treat varicose veins that are too large to be effectively treated with sclerotherapy. This treatment involves removing the vein through micro-punctures in the skin.
• Other, more conservative, options include compression therapy, exercise and elevation techniques.