Varicose vein removal is opted for severe cases triggering unbearable pain and discomfort. Varicose vein refers to swollen, enlarged, and twisted veins that often appear dark purple or blue. You can find it mostly on your legs. The condition occurs due to the faulty valves in your vein. It results in the wrong direction of the blood flow. So, it tends to pool in one area leading to the swollen veins. It does not require treatment as it causes you no harm. But, if the affected person experiences swelling, aching or severe pain, then you need to seek medical assistance. The discomfort needs medical management as it prevents you from functioning properly. In some cases, a varicose vein ruptures or develops into varicose ulcers on your skin. It is a serious condition needing treatment.
Varicose Vein Removal Procedures
Varicose veins are the enlarged, knotty, and discolored veins you can find on your legs. The condition is caused due to the blood pooling in the legs. You can try some simple remedies for dealing with the condition. Your doctor suggests lifestyle changes and the use of compression stockings as the first line of treatment. But, you need to undergo varicose vein removal procedures when you feel severe pain and discomfort due to the problem. It is also selected for cosmetic reasons. The medical procedure is recommended due to the reasons like:
- Skin problems
- Severe Pain
- Blood Clots
You need to consult the specialist doctor to determine the right procedure for removing varicose veins effectively.
Types Of Varicose Vein Removal Procedures
Depending on the severity of your condition, you can choose from the different procedures. Your doctor can suggest the best option based on your problem. So, the different types are:
Varicose Vein Stripping
It is the surgical procedure used to remove the varicose veins in severe cases. It can strip the abnormal veins from your legs and things. Under anesthesia, the surgeon treats the varicose veins and prevents it from coming back. It is a more effective treatment option compared to others. The procedure is also known as vein stripping with ablation, avulsion or ligation.
It is the latest and non-invasive method to remove the varicose vein. Instead of stripping the abnormal veins, a laser is used to heat it. The heat can kill the walls of the veins. Then, your body naturally absorbs the dead tissue of the abnormal veins. So, you can get rid of the abnormal veins without undergoing surgery. It only requires an injection and carried out in a simple treatment room. It is also used to treat the lymph and blood vessel disorder leading to the incorrect formation of the vessels.
The procedure is used for mild form varicose veins. It uses an irritating solution, which is injected directly into the affected veins or the lymph vessels. The solution causes swelling and cuts off the blood supply/lymphatic fluid. So, the veins or vessel shrinks.
Deciding The Best Varicose Vein Removal Procedure
Not all procedures for varicose removal are suitable for you. Your doctor performs a thorough analysis to determine the right procedure for you. The several things that weight in making the decision are:
- Your overall health
- The severity of your condition
- Symptoms you exhibit
- Your response to the specific procedures
- The goal and opinion you possess on how you look and feel
- The condition you can expect in the future
The varicose vein procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. So, you never have to stay in the hospital overnight. All the procedures have some risks associated with it. It is important to talk to your doctor to know about the risks and benefits of each procedure.
Finding The Right Doctor For Varicose Vein Removal
If you wish to undergo any of the procedures for varicose vein removal, then you need to find the right doctor who can perform it. You need to see the assistance from a highly-qualified vascular surgeon, plastic surgeon or phlebologist to perform the procedure. In some cases, a dermatologist can also offer vein treatment. But, how do you find the best doctor who can provide you the right treatment? Here are some of the factors you need to keep in mind before selecting a surgeon:
You need to find a doctor who has the qualification and accreditation to perform such procedures without any complication. Check for board certification of the doctor before opting for the removal procedure.
You need to get the services of a skilled surgeon who has enough experience in dealing with similar cases. You can talk to prior patients to ask for the review of the surgeon. It will help you get an idea about the skill level of the surgeon.
Talk to the surgeon before making any decision. The surgeon must have the patience and knowledge to fully answer the question you ask. You need to feel comfortable talking to the doctor. It helps develop a bond, which is important.
Cost Of Varicose Vein Removal
The cost of the procedure depends on the type of removal you choose, the country you decide to undergo the procedure, and the severity of your condition. The cost of procedures to remove the varicose vein in developed countries like the USA and the UK is high. Although you can get insurance coverage for the procedure, it has a high cost compared to countries like India. The different procedures for removing the varicose vein does not require a hospital stay. So, you can walk out of the hospital as soon as the procedure gets over. Therefore, you never have to spend money on staying in the hospital. The cost associated with each procedure are:
Varicose Vein Stripping
The cost of undergoing varicose vein stripping is on the higher side. Depending on the complexity, you need to spend an average of $1000 or above for the surgical procedure in the USA. While people in the UK need to shell out £1200 or more per treatment.
It is the non-invasive procedure for removing moderate cases of varicose veins. The procedure cost can range from $ 500 and above (or £450 or more). The cost escalated when you have complex veins that require multiple treatments.
It is the cheapest option available to remove minor varicose veins. So, it is ideal for people who suffer from mild cases of the problem. The average cost of the procedure is around $300 per hour session in the USA. In the UK, it costs £200 per session. You often need to repeat the treatment. The treatment does not offer long-lasting results. So, the varicose veins can return in the future.
Treatment In Other Countries
Countries like India that promote medical tourism offers high-quality treatment for lesser price. You can seek the assistance of a highly qualified doctor for the varicose vein removal from a top-rated hospital to get rid of the condition. The costs are comparatively low as you can get treatment for INR 20,000 (sclerotherapy) to INR 80,000 (Varicose vein stripping).
Prepare for Varicose Vein Removal
Before undergoing any of the procedures, the doctor performs a thorough physical examination. It is to determine the specific location of the nonworking valves. To learn its precise location, the doctor uses a handheld ultrasound device to get a better insight into the veins and their valves. Your doctor can also order a duplex scan. The scan offers clear images of the affected veins. It is also helpful in determining the amount of blood flow. The rules out the presence of any blood clots or thrombosis in your veins. These tests offer a clear insight into your condition.
You need to inform your doctor about the prescription or over-the-counter medication you take for any health problem. It is important to stop taking certain medications before the procedure as they can cause complications. For example, certain medications can cause heavy bleeding, which affects procedures like varicose vein stripping. So, talk to your doctor for better guidelines.
Procedure Of Varicose Vein Removal
The different treatment options for removing varicose vein occurs on an outpatient basis. So, you never have to stay in the hospital overnight after the procedure. You can go home on the same day after the procedure. Depending on the type of method you choose, the procedure can take from one to two hours. For a complicated surgical procedure, it takes a longer time to complete the process. Here is the detailed description of the procedure for eliminating the varicose vein:
Varicose Vein Stripping
During varicose vein stripping, the doctor administers general or spinal anesthesia. You receive it before the procedure. While general anesthesia puts you to sleep for the entire procedure, spinal anesthesia just numbs your lower part of the body. The spinal anesthesia keeps you awake during the varicose vein removal. People who feel nervous about the procedure need to convey it to the doctor. Your doctor prescribes you an anti-anxiety medication before receiving the spinal anesthesia to keep you calm.
During varicose vein stripping, your surgeon will make several small cuts, or incisions, near the top and bottom of your damaged vein. One incision will be in your groin. The other will be farther down your leg, either in your calf or ankle. They will then thread a thin, flexible plastic wire into the vein through the groin incision. The wire will be tied to the vein and pulled out through the cut in the lower leg. Your surgeon will then close the cuts with stitches and place bandages and compression stockings on your legs.
The first steps are to identify the varicose vein requiring the procedure. The doctor uses ultrasound to visualize the vein. After spotting the vein the doctor injects a small amount of local anesthetic into the skin around the tissue of the vein. It is injected using a needle over the vein that needs removal. The needle has a wire, which is passed through the needle to the vein. After removing the needle, a thin plastic tubing (catheter) is placed in your vein after passing over the wire.
At the end of the catheter, a laser fiber is passed. It heats the walls of the vein. So, it results in the closing of the vein. It results in stopping the blood circulation through the vein. Once the body starts to recover, the blood circulation becomes normal as it does not flow the faulty vein. Therefore, the vein, causing the problem shrinks in size and ultimately shrinks.
The procedure often selected for smaller varicose veins does not require anesthesia. You need no special preparation before undergoing sclerotherapy. But, you need to follow the guidelines and instructions suggested by your doctor. It is essential to avoid the use of lotions or oils on the affected area before the surgery. You need to lie on your back and elevate the leg during the procedure. The doctor cleans the affected area and inserts a small needle into the varicose vein.
The doctor injects an irritating solution into the affected vein. The irritating solution is known as sclerosants. You have two different solutions available. Depending on the size of your varicose vein, your doctor selects the solution. A detergent, sodium tetradecyl sulfate or polidocanol is used for the procedure. Your doctor can administer as a solution or foam. The irritating solution can lead to the scarring of the vein. So, it forces the blood to reroute to healthier veins. The treatment causes the affected veins to fade away after a few weeks.
After Varicose Vein Removal Procedure
You must never drive yourself after any of the varicose vein removal procedure. Therefore, you need to get the assistance of your friends or family members to take you from the hospital to your home. You may feel uncomfortable or drowsy for several hours after the procedure. It is better to seek assistance to get home.
Recovery Process Of Varicose Vein Removal Procedures
The different procedures used to treat varicose veins do not require a hospital stay. So, you can go back home after the procedure. People undergoing varicose vein stripping procedure can experience discomfort for 2-3 weeks. It is an effective treatment option to get rid of varicose veins but makes you sore and uncomfortable. Other methods have soreness and discomfort for a short period. The recovery process for all the procedures all similar. So, you need to follow the guidelines suggested by the doctor after each procedure. The following pointers will help you with a speedy recovery:
After any of the varicose vein procedures, you can experience some pain and discomfort. So, to manage the problem, you can take over-the-counter painkillers.
Stay Off Foot
People undergoing varicose vein stripping need to stay off their foot for at least three to four days after the surgery. Keep your foot elevated when you are sitting. It is advisable to keep the foot elevated by propping pillows. Other procedures have no such restrictions.
You will have to wear stockings for up to two weeks and you will be given instructions about how to bathe. You should be able to go back to work straight away and get on with most normal activities.
Wear Compression Stockings
You need to wear compression stockings for a specified duration of time after undergoing varicose vein removal procedure. It reduces the pain and enhances the results of the procedure. You need to keep your leg dry during the period. So, refrain from swimming or getting your legs wet when you wear stockings.
Once you feel normal, you need to start walking. Walking can improve blood circulation and prevent further development of varicose veins.
Avoid Sun Exposure
People undergoing sclerotherapy for removing varicose veins need to refrain from going outside the sun. The sun rays combined with the solution injected into your veins can result in the development of dark spots on your skin. So, refrain from venturing outside for a few days. Apply sunscreen before going out to prevent any such complications.
The recovery period depends on the type of procedure you undergo and the severity of the condition.
Risk Associated With Varicose Vein Removal
The procedures to remove varicose veins have some risks associated with it. Each procedure has side-effects. So, you need to talk to your doctor before selecting the procedure. Here are the side-effects associated with each procedure:
Complications of Varicose Vein Stripping
While the procedure is safe and low-risk, you can expect some complications associated with it. The complication or risk linked to the procedure are:
- Experience an allergic reaction to the general or spinal anesthesia
- Develop infection at the incision sites
- Suffer from heavy bleeding
- Develop blood clots
- Experience bruising or scarring
- Develop nerve injury
The risks are not common. So, only people suffer from issues rarely. But, the condition is more common among certain people compared to others. Due to the risk, the surgery is not recommended for the following people:
- Women who are pregnant
- Experience poor blood circulation in your leg
- People who suffer from skin infections
- An individual who has blood-clotting
- People who have excess body weight (overweight or obese)
Complication Of EVLA
Endovenous Laser Ablation can trigger certain complications. But, people rarely suffer from the problem. The problems associated with the procedure are:
Varicose vein stripping can also induce thrombophlebitis. It is the inflammatory condition that flares up after several weeks. It results in the formation of a blood clot in one or more veins. The condition mostly develops in your legs.
Some people undergoing the EVLA method of varicose vein removal can suffer from nerve damage. The damage is not severe like the ones occurring due to varicose vein stripping. Endovascular ablation can cause sciatic and peroneal nerve injuries. So, the problem affects the lower extremities of the varicosities.
In some cases, people undergoing EVLA can suffer from burns in the affected area. The burns are known as cutaneous thermal injury.
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
People undergoing EVLA procedure can develop postoperative DVT. As a result, you develop a blood clot deep inside your vein. The condition can escalate into life-threatening conditions like pulmonary embolism.
Complications Associated With Sclerotherapy
Although the procedure is minimally invasive, it can also result in some other side-effects. The procedure can cause burning, cramping, stinging in the injected area. It can trigger pain when the sclerosing agents leak or spread to the tissues surrounding the vein. You also suffer from other issues like:
- Skin discoloration
- Develop small branches of blood vessels
You need to consult your doctor when any of the complications cause you severe discomfort. It needs medical management to avoid further health issues.
Varicose veins are primarily a cosmetic problem. So, your doctor suggests other techniques to deal with the problem. When the problem becomes severe and causes pain, you need other varicose vein removal procedures. No method offers complete relief from the problem. So, you face the risk of recurrence as time progresses. Vein disease is progressive. Therefore, the treatment cannot prevent the appearance of new veins in the future. Try to follow some preventive measures to keep the problem at bay.
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