The veins within the legs have one-way valves that should close when one is standing. Blood within the veins should only travel in one direction, back towards the heart. When these valves are diseased, the blood pools within the calf and has difficulty returning back to the heart. This causes the veins to stretch out and become rope-like in the leg.
The varicose veins within the calf may have appeared because there is a vein called a “truncal” vein within the thigh that is abnormal. This truncal vein can only be seen with an ultrasound machine. In order to treat the varicose veins in the calf it is first necessary to seal the truncal vein and allow the varicose veins that branch off it to decompress.
Thermal ablation is one of the safest medical procedures on the market with a well-documented history of safety and success. As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist. Your physician will review the potential complications at the time of the consult. Potential complications include blood clot (less than 1%), bruising, phlebitis, infection, tingling and numbness from nerve injury, and/or skin burn.
Although some people are more sensitive than others, patients generally report little pain. Once the treated vein is numbed, it is very unusual to feel any pain or heat associated with the treatment.
Once the veins become diseased, they no longer serve any useful function and only act to cause symptoms. Additionally, once diseased, these veins will progressively worsen with time.
There are few restrictions after vein treatment. Patients are expected to wear compression stocking for a week after the procedure. Patients can resume normal activity after vein treatment. Walking is encouraged, although strenuous activities such as running or bicycling are not encouraged for one week.
Compression stockings are medically prescribed stockings that exert a predetermined amount of pressure on the veins within the legs. This pressure helps collapse the veins and prevents blood from pooling within them. After the procedure, compression stockings aid in preventing inflammation of the veins and accelerate recovery.
After any vein treatment, patients need to wear compression stockings for 1 week during the daytime hours ( approximately 8-10 hours/day). You do not sleep in the stockings.
Thermal ablation, and microphlebectomy are typically covered by most insurance plans. Spider vein sclerotherapy is considered cosmetic and is most commonly not covered by insurance plans. Your physician can discuss your insurance coverage further at the time of consultation.
The vein consultation typically takes an hour and consists of a comprehensive ultrasound of the legs performed by a well-trained technologist experienced in venous imaging. Upon completion of the ultrasound, the results will be reviewed and a treatment plan devised. Your provider will then go over the results and provide a detailed explanation of his recommendations to get your legs looking and feeling great.