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Gabriel's Story: Endovenous Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins

Gabriel's Story: Endovenous Laser Treatment for Varicose Veins

39 year old Gabriel Quiroga is an air conditioner contractor. Part of his everyday routine is going house- to -house or business- to -business, where he climbs up ladders get up to roofs, into attics, and other hard to reach areas. Quiroga is totally dependent upon the use of his legs for his livelihood and a good quality of life.

Quiroga was experiencing severe pain in his left leg and swelling at the ankle, especially while standing and climbing up ladders. “I was in constant discomfort and was concerned that I might have to change careers. I could barely stand for any length of time without feeling severe pain”, said Quiroga.

Quiroga was referred to South Florida Vascular Associates and Dr. William Julien to discuss his symptoms and determine a treatment option. Upon testing and examination, Dr. Julien determined that Quiroga had a large varicose vein in his left leg which was causing venous insufficiency, a common condition resulting from decreased blood flow from the leg veins up to the heart. “When valves become weak and don't close properly, they force blood to flow backward, a condition called reflux”, said Dr. Julien. In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function properly, allowing blood to remain or pool, in the vein. Pooling of blood in a vein causes it to enlarge, which creates pain, especially when a person is standing and placing pressure on the leg.

Varicose vein treatment, also known as endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency or laser energy to seal off and close varicose veins in the legs. It may be used for cosmetic purposes, but it is most commonly used to help alleviate related symptoms such as aching, swelling, skin irritation, discoloration or inflammation. EVLT is safe, less invasive than conventional surgery known as vein stripping and leaves virtually no scars.

Dr. William Julien Explains EVLT

EVLT is an alternative to traditional open surgery and it requires minimal access to the vein.  In the past, if a patient was suffering from painful varicose veins they would need to undergo an open surgical procedure (vein stripping) to seal off the vein. Vein stripping is very painful and a difficult experience for the patient.

Vein stripping is done using general anesthesia and the procedure usually takes up to 1 1/2 hours. After surgery patients have bandages and compression stockings on their leg and the leg may need to be wrapped to control swelling and bleeding for 3 - 5 days or longer after surgery.

EVLT on the other hand, is a much easier on the patient. The procedure typically takes less than one hour, provides immediate relief, no general anesthesia, recovery period is minimized and a patient can immediately return to normal activities, without scarring or stitches. There is a lower rate of complication and a higher success rate.

“I can’t believe how simple this procedure was”, said Quiroga. “I postponed having the procedure for so long thinking I would be out of work for several weeks and the day after the procedure, I was able to climb my ladder, something I thought I might never be able to do again”. Aside for wearing a compression stocking for a few weeks, Quiroga did not experience any discomfort and was immediately able to return to his job. “This procedure is amazing, said Quiroga, I can’t believe how easy and painless it was”.

If you suffer from unsightly and painful varicose veins, call our office for a consultation or call 954-725-4141

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