If you have varicose veins or spider veins, you may find yourself in need of surgery. Vein surgery is not to be taken lightly, and if your specialist says this is the best way to remove the problem, then it is the appropriate route to take. Often, vein surgery is not an option; it becomes a necessity if the varicose veins are seriously pronounced. In such cases, they are not simply a cosmetic issue, because veins of this magnitude can result in serious health problems.
What You Need to Remember
Vein surgery has evolved. It’s not like it was on your parents’ or even your grandparents’ time, and technology now plays a greater role in the development of treatments. As a result, the surgery you will face will be less invasive and more targeted. Due to such things as the Color Doppler Ultrasound, medical specialists can pinpoint the affected veins with greater accuracy. The use of anesthetic, lasers, and other types of modern equipment reduces the overall pain and other issues common with the older techniques and equipment.
Basic Types of Varicose Veins Surgery
Surgery has always been a major option where vein diseases are concerned. When you require varicose vein treatments, you may be faced with one of several options. Among the most basic surgical techniques, you will discover the following methods or practices, some of which are modern variations of older approaches:
- Endovenous Ablation Therapy (EVAT): As the name indicates, your doctor will utilize lasers (Endovenous Laser Ablation or ELA) or radio waves Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). These heat up and remove varicose veins. This type of procedure is the simplest.
- Sclerotherapy: An older technique that has been in use since the 1930s, this type of surgery involves the injection of a chemical solution or irritant (sclerosants) into the veins that are affected. If air is added to the solution prior to injection, it is then known as Foam Sclerotherapy. Although the technique may leave scars, they fade soon after the treatment. However, the process of recovery for your legs may be slow and require the wearing of elastic compression stockings.
- Ligation and Stripping: If you have severe varicose veins, you may undergo one of the older types of surgery commonly referred to as litigation and stripping. In medical terms, it is called high tie or saphenofemoral or saphenopopliteal ligation. It depends upon the location of the veins.The doctor will locate the affected vein. He or she will then cut and tie it off (litigation). Next, the vein is pulled out through a hole that is made by a second cut. Although still performed, this type is less common than other forms of surgery.In a more modern version, Ultrasound guided tumescent anesthesia is utilized to not only locate the specific veins, but also to minimize any possible discomfort from the process. Moreover, when a surgeon employs this method, he or she is able to reduce the overall amount of bleeding in the stripping track, the track that remains after the vein has been removed (stripped).
- Phlebectomy: This form of vein surgery involves the use of a specially designed “hook.” First, the surgeon will create small incisions. Following this, he or she will insert a small hook. This hook removes the spider or varicose veins.
Choosing Vein Surgery
If your physician decides that vein surgery is necessary, be sure you understand what type he or she prefers. Talk to him or her about your options. Be sure you know what will occur and what follow-ups are required. By being aware of what is involved, you will be able to undergo the surgical procedure in a prepared state of mind.