Varicose veins is one of the most common vein diseases in the US. It is characterized by conspicuous bulging of veins under the skin of your leg caused by damaged valves within the vein. The bulging is a direct result of pooling of blood as the valves are unable to prevent backflow.
In most cases, sufferers do not experience pain or any serious symptoms besides the unsightly appearance the purplish veins can create. That, together with the fear of hospital visits, constrains many people to choose living with the disorder even though they may not like how the veins look.
But, can varicose veins be removed?
Varicose veins is an age-old disorder. Over the years, researchers and vein specialists have worked to come up with better and more effective solutions, and the results can be seen in the contemporary treatments offered at vein centers. So, basically, varicose veins can be removed using multiple tried-and-tested procedures.
What happens during removal of varicose veins?
Albeit there are several treatments for varicose veins, only surgery can totally remove the damaged veins. You may be wondering if blood circulation can be affected by removal of a problem vein. Well, blood automatically reroutes to other healthy veins once the affected one has been removed, and the effect will only be felt as slight short-lived pressure in the operated leg.
Varicose veins removal surgery is typically done under general anesthesia. There are quite a few different types of anesthetics, and you should request for details during your preadmission treatment. Also, remember to inform your doctor or anesthetist if you have an allergy for any anesthetic.
Before the operation, your doctor will mark the affected veins using a waterproof pen, so it's easy to locate them during surgery.
The small incisions through which the veins will be pulled out are usually made in the back of the knee or groin. Several cuts on the skin along the vein may be made if the entire vein has to be removed. After the veins have been "stripped", the cuts are sutured or sealed with strips of adhesive paper depending on their size and position on the leg.
Next, your leg is bandaged to increase pressure in the operated area, consequently reducing bruising and bleeding. You may be allowed to go home after this, or asked to stay overnight if there were too many incisions made.
After varicose vein removal
Once the surgery is over and your incisions have been closed, you will be taken to a recovery room as the doctor waits for you to wake up from the anesthetic. A nurse may be assigned to watch over you to ensure you're not bleeding or experiencing pain before and after your wake up.
Alternatives to varicose vein removal
Other treatments close off the target veins and cause blood to reroute. The closed vein gradually fades out as it naturally gets absorbed into the bloodstream over time.
Treatments that work this way include:
- Sclerotherapy foam treatment
- Endovenous laser treatment
- Radiofrequency ablation