Varicose veins are large purple and blue snake-like veins that appear close to your skin, usually on your legs. Smaller versions of varicose veins are called spider veins because they look like blue and red spider webs splattered on your legs and sometimes your face.
For most people, these damaged veins are embarrassing and unsightly. For some, they can cause pain and discomfort. Whether you want to eliminate them because they make your legs feel tired, itchy, and achy, or you want to feel more confident in shorts and bathing suits, there are a variety of ways to treat them.
At South Florida Vascular Associates in Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, and Plantation, Florida, board-certified vascular interventional physician William H. Julien, MD, and his team of experienced varicose vein specialists offer cutting-edge minimally invasive procedures to relieve your symptoms.
Some of the benefits of minimally invasive procedures are that they don’t require hospital time, and there’s a shorter recovery time and less scarring than surgery. Here, we describe the different minimally invasive procedures we offer to treat or eliminate varicose veins.
Endovenous laser ablation
With endovenous laser ablation, also called endovenous thermal ablation or radiofrequency surgery, Dr. Julien uses a high-frequency laser to seal off damaged veins, causing them to shrink and eventually close up. Your body diverts the blood to flow into nearby healthy veins.
During a sclerotherapy treatment, Dr. Julien injects the damaged vein with a solution — called a sclerosing agent — that irritates the vein lining. Eventually, scar tissue forms and closes off the vein. As with endovenous laser ablation, your blood reroutes to a nearby healthy vein.
A phlebectomy involves making tiny incisions near the vein and removing the problem vein through those incisions. This procedure completely eliminates the vein. We use a local anesthesia, and you can usually return to your normal activities within a couple of days.
Reducing your risk of varicose veins
Although minimally invasive treatments are very effective, varicose veins may return. Here’s how you can reduce your risk of your varicose veins reappearing:
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict blood flow
- Elevate your legs when you rest
- Wear compression and support socks or hose
If you have varicose veins, make an appointment with Dr. Julien at South Florida Vascular Associates to learn more about the different treatments we offer. We can help determine which option is best for you depending on the size and number of damaged veins you have. Call or request an appointment online.