Varicose veins affect about 23% of adults in the US, and women are twice as likely to develop them than men. For some, varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem; others experience pain and complications like chronic venous insufficiency. The physicians at the Vascular Access Center of Jacksonville have extensive experience permanently eliminating varicose veins using safe, minimally invasive, in-office procedures, including endovenous ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy. To have your varicose veins evaluated, call the office in Jacksonville, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Varicose veins are often easily identified by their engorged, bulging, or twisted appearance. They typically occur in the legs and develop when the one-way valves inside your leg veins don’t work correctly.
As your veins take blood back to your heart, they must carry that blood up your legs against the force of gravity. Muscle contractions help push blood up the veins while one-way valves inside each vein open to let it flow up, then close so it doesn’t drop back down.
When the valves weaken or fail to work, blood accumulates in your leg veins, resulting in unsightly and sometimes painful varicose veins.
Some patients don’t experience any discomfort from their varicose veins, while others develop significant symptoms such as:
Varicose veins can also cause complications such as blood clots, ulcers or open sores near your ankle, and chronic venous insufficiency. In some cases, a skin rash near a varicose vein is an early sign of a leg ulcer.
Whether you’re experiencing painful symptoms or you simply find them unattractive, you may want to have your varicose veins treated. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your goals, your treatment may begin with conservative options like compression stockings.
Other common treatments that remove your damaged veins completely include endovenous laser or radiofrequency ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy.
During your initial consultation, your Vascular Access Center physician performs a thorough exam and discusses your symptoms to determine which treatment will provide you with the best results. While both endovenous ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy remove damaged veins, the methods are quite different.
Endovenous ablation uses either laser or radiofrequency energy to treat venous conditions. Your Vascular Access Center physician performs the procedure in-office using local anesthesia.
After inserting a small catheter into the vein, your doctor uses ultrasound imaging to guide the catheter to the area that’s blocked, narrowed, damaged, or enlarged. When the catheter is in the proper position, it sends out laser or radiofrequency energy, which heats and closes the vein.
The procedure takes less than an hour, and your recovery is short, although you may need to wear compression stockings for a while afterward.
After marking the veins that need removal, your doctor administers local anesthesia and makes tiny incisions — incisions so small that stitches aren’t needed. They don’t leave visible scars either.
Using a specialized instrument, your doctor reaches through the incisions and removes the problem veins. You’ll wear a bandage or compression stocking for a short time, and you may have mild postoperative pain and bruising, but recovery is quick.
If you’re ready to eliminate varicose veins, call the Vascular Access Center of Jacksonville or book an appointment online.
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