Your Legs, Your Life

by Andy C. Chiou, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.
Originally Appeared in Healthy Cells, December 2004

You’re a busy person, one who rarely slows down. Your legs have to keep up with your pace. Eventually, your legs begin to show all those miles. In fact, one in six women and one in ten men in the United States are affected by venous disease of the lower extremity – often in the form of varicose veins.

Today’s technology and the medical community’s commitment to women’s healthcare have made it affordable and efficient to take care of these unsightly – and often painful – veins. When considering the elimination of your varicose veins there are several things to keep in mind including:

  • treatment options
  • qualifications of the medical provider
  • facility location and environment

Your choices

There are many different treatment options available, depending on your individual situation. That’s why it’s important to have your veins properly evaluated and your options clearly explained to you.

While some facilities only offer a few choices, a few facilities are able to offer the full range of comprehensive varicose vein treatment. Your choices for varicose and spider vein removal include topical laser treatment, sclerotherapy, vein ligation, vein stripping and the innovative VNUS® Closure®.

Your provider

As more individuals seek treatment for varicose veins, people have an increasing number of providers to choose from. These include plastic surgeons, radiologists and vascular surgeons who are vascular specialists.

When choosing a treatment provider, it’s important to be confident in his or her abilities to provide you with the best results in a caring environment. A comprehensive vein center staffed by knowledgeable physicians can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the right treatment for your underlying condition.

Your location

Although varicose veins can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, more often it’s a matter of addressing the appearance of the veins or the pain they cause. Therefore, your veins can be treated in a variety of locations – in a physician’s office, a surgical center or a hospital. The key is to choose a convenient facility where you will feel comfortable and relaxed.

The Treatment Everyone’s Talking About

VNUS® Closure® uses radiofrequency ablation of the veins (in other words, a minimally invasive microwave procedure). This procedure has revolutionized the treatment of varicose veins and serves as a viable alternative to the more invasive option of vein stripping.

This treatment appeals to many people because it is done on an outpatient basis with a short recovery. A thin catheter is threaded into the vein and delivers radiofrequency energy to the vein wall. The vein heats up, collapses and seals shut.

After the diseased vein is closed, nearby healthy veins take over and empty the blood from your legs. Once normal blood flow is re-established, symptoms quickly improve. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities in one to two days.

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