Go With The Flow. Managing your expectations for an upcoming vein procedure
Not too terribly long ago, vein stripping and other surgical vein procedures had patients anticipating considerable pain and downtime as a normal part of the process. Happily, these byproducts are now things of the past.
Thanks to numerous advancements in technology and treatment procedures, patients with venous symptoms or risk factors have far less to be concerned about. Today, minimally invasive treatments like the VNUS® and VenaSeal™ Closure Systems, and Endovenous Laser Ablation, mean patients can expect optimal results with minimal discomfort and downtime.
The VNUS® Closure, for instance, is a varicose vein treatment which involves positioning a catheter into a diseased vein to ultimately close it and reroute blood. Done on an outpatient basis, it uses ultrasound to position a tiny catheter into the affected vein through a small opening in the skin. The catheter then directs radiofrequency (RF) energy into the vein wall, heating it up, and causing the collagen in the wall to shrink and close the vein. Blood then reroutes to other, healthy veins, improving blood flow. A small bandage covers the insertion site, and the patient is sent home with some easy, post-procedure activity guidelines, and able to resume normal activities by the next day.
Endovenous Laser Ablation is another advanced treatment for varicose veins. Like the VNUS system, it uses heat to shrink the diseased vein, but employs the use of a laser rather than RF energy. After numbing the skin over the treatment area with a topical anesthetic, your physician inserts a tiny diode laser fiber into the affected vein. Once in position (again, using ultrasound guidance) the vein walls are slowly heated, causing them to shrink and ultimately close. The procedure is relatively painless and takes approximately an hour, allowing the patient to resume normal activity within a day.
Patients with venous reflux disease in their lower extremities are often treated with the VenaSeal™ Closure System. Also done on an outpatient basis, this procedure uses an advanced medical adhesive to seal the diseased vein.
Using its specially designed VenaSeal dispensing gun, the physician inserts a catheter into the diseased vein. Using ultra¬ sound guidance, a series of trigger pulls delivers the medical adhesive to specific areas of the vein, sealing it, allowing the body to reroute blood flow. Designed to minimize patient discomfort and recovery time, it requires just a small bandage over the access site, causes minimal bruising, and allows the patient to resume normal activities in a matter of days.Perhaps the most appreciable advantage of these new procedures is the difference in recovery time versus older, traditional treatments. In the case of varicose veins, for example, patients are back to normal in 24 hours, compared to a minimum of 6 weeks using traditional vein stripping under general anesthetic. And that’s an expectation you’ll look forward to managing.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call the Vascular & Vein Center at Gulfcoast Surgeons today at 239-344-7061 to make an appointment with a vascular surgeon who specializes in arteries and veins.