Treating Varicose Veins with Varithena®

Options for treat­ing your vari­cose veins

Veins car­ry blood from the var­i­ous parts of the body to the heart and uti­lize valves to direct the flow of blood. With age, prob­lems can devel­op in the veins and valves that lead to a vari­ety of health issues. The for­ma­tion of vari­cose veins is one of the more com­mon vein issues. In fact, about one third of men and women will devel­op vari­cose veins with vary­ing presentations.

Vari­cose veins are dilat­ed, elon­gat­ed, and twist­ed blood ves­sels that are unable to con­trol blood flow as they should. They are formed when the tiny valves locat­ed inside the vein weak­ens and pre­vent blood from pass­ing through eas­i­ly. This caus­es blood to accu­mu­late and the vein to swell. As veins con­tin­ue to grow and become enlarged they often can cause uncom­fort­able symp­toms which include:

  • Swelling
  • Aching
  • Throb­bing
  • Itch­ing
  • Com­mon symptoms

Often vari­cose veins can be seen on the sur­face of the skin, but they are not always visible.

There are sev­er­al risk fac­tors that can increase the like­li­hood of devel­op­ing vari­cose veins includ­ing a fam­i­ly his­to­ry, age, being over­weight or indi­vid­u­als whose job requires stand­ing for pro­longed peri­ods of time. 

There are sev­er­al treat­ment options avail­able for vari­cose vein suf­fer­ers depend­ing on the size, sever­i­ty and loca­tion of the vein. Some vari­cose vein treat­ment may be con­sid­ered cos­met­ic and not cov­ered through insur­ance, while oth­ers may be deemed med­ical­ly nec­es­sary. Insur­ance cov­er­age often depends on the sever­i­ty of the vari­cose veins and the asso­ci­at­ed symptoms.

While con­ser­v­a­tive mea­sures such as ele­va­tion when at rest and reg­u­lar exer­cise may help peo­ple with mild symp­toms, peo­ple with sig­nif­i­cant symp­toms may need to seek treat­ment, which varies from patient to patient. Tra­di­tion­al treat­ment options include:

Com­pres­sion Ther­a­py – Com­pres­sion ther­a­py is the least inva­sive treat­ment to sup­port veins. Socks are worn typ­i­cal­ly through­out the entire day. The com­pres­sion stock­ings sup­port the veins by pre­vent­ing the pool­ing of blood in the veins.

Endove­nous Laser Treat­ment – Some­times referred to as Laser Treat­ment. This is a pro­ce­dure per­formed in the office. A laser fiber is direct­ly insert­ed into the vein under local anes­the­sia. When the laser is acti­vat­ed, the ener­gy caus­es the vein wall to col­lapse. Blood that would pool in this vein is redi­rect­ed to nor­mal veins.

Phle­bec­to­my – Some­times called Microphle­bec­to­my or Ambu­la­to­ry Phle­bec­to­my. Ropey, bulging vari­cose veins are removed through a series of small inci­sions. This pro­ce­dure can be done in the office or the oper­at­ing room.

Scle­rother­a­py – A med­ica­tion is direct­ly inject­ed into the vein. The med­ica­tion irri­tates the lin­ing of the vein caus­ing it to scar and col­lapse. This works best on small vari­cose veins and spi­der veins. Sev­er­al ses­sions are typ­i­cal­ly needed.

In some cas­es, the vein may not be easy to access or inel­i­gi­ble for one of these treat­ment options due to a vari­ety of fac­tors. Varithena® is a min­i­mal­ly inva­sive, non­sur­gi­cal injectable foam that pro­vides a treat­ment option for patients suf­fer­ing from vari­cose veins that were hard to access with oth­er treat­ment meth­ods. The pro­ce­dure can be done at your doctor’s office and does not require inci­sions or gen­er­al anes­the­sia. Dur­ing the pro­ce­dure, the physi­cian injects Varithena® either by using a catheter to access the desired area or by inject­ing the foam direct­ly into the affect­ed vein. Once inject­ed, the foam will begin to fill and treat the vein until the vein col­laps­es and the foam then deac­ti­vates. Once the vein col­laps­es, the blood flow is redi­rect­ed to oth­er, healthy neigh­bor­ing veins. After the pro­ce­dure, patients may resume some activ­i­ties but should avoid heavy exer­cise for about a week. The most com­mon side effects fol­low­ing treat­ment with Varithena® are leg pain or dis­com­fort, injec­tion site bruis­ing or pain, and in rare instances, blood clots in leg veins.

Varithena® can be used to treat sev­er­al types of vari­cose veins including:

  • Tor­tu­ous (twist­ed) veins
  • Veins above and below the knee
  • Veins with small, medi­um, and large diameters
  • Veins pre­vi­ous­ly treat­ed with oth­er methods

Varithena® may not be appro­pri­ate to treat all vari­cose veins. Con­sult with a DMG Vas­cu­lar Sur­geon to deter­mine what treat­ment option is best for you by call­ing 630−545−7565 or vis­it www​.duly​healthand​care​.com/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​v​a​s​c​u​l​a​r​-​s​u​r​gery/.

Health Topics: