What are Varicose Veins

Over 25 million Americans suffer from chronic venous disease. An estimated 72% of American women and 42% of men will develop varicose veins by the time they reach their sixties. Varicose veins are present in an estimated 40% of women and 25% of men. Varicose veins are large, ropey, and twisting blue vessels, which appear in the skin anywhere from the thigh to the foot. They are most often the result of leaking and incompetent valves in the superficial saphenous veins. These abnormal valves allow blood to flow retrograde back down the legs and into all of the skin veins. The repeated reflux causes high vein pressures, resulting in veins, which enlarge and twist over time. Leg pain associated with varicose veins is usually due to swelling of the veins and of the surrounding tissues. Phlebitis develops when one or more of these veins develop a blood clot, usually when the patient is inactive. A painful and red lump where varicose veins are located is nearly always a sign of phlebitis. The actual cause of varicose veins is inefficient, faulty vein valves. These valves don’t close properly, allowing blood to leak back with gravity and pool in the vein. This causes the veins to bulge and stretch and result in many unpleasant side effects such as:

  • Aching and throbbing pain
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Heavy and tired legs
  • Poor circulation
  • Night cramps
  • Restless Leg Syndrome

Heredity is a primary factor in over 80% of varicose vein cases. Other contributing factors may include pregnancy, obesity, hormone therapy, standing or sitting for long periods of time and injury.

Varicose Veins - Valve Illustration

Diagnosis

After a comprehensive evaluation that includes an ultrasound examination of the veins, our physicians will determine the optimal treatment for each patient’s needs. Ultrasound diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases are performed in our office in less than one hour. Treatment is typically covered by insurance including Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Treatment

While compression stockings may provide some relief, they do not address the cause of the disease, and invasive surgery (ligation & stripping) is associated with longer post-operative downtime and a 25-35% rate of recurrence.

Our state-of-the-art Endovenous Laser Treatment for varicose vein removal, or EVLT, is a proven, minimally invasive treatment that is rapidly replacing vein stripping as the new standard of care for safe and effective treatment of varicose veins. Endovenous ablation is radically different from vein stripping, which is an antiquated procedure that should not be performed except under extraordinary circumstances. With EVLT, patients no longer require hospitalization or general anesthesia for the treatment of varicose veins. Patients are treated in the office with local anesthesia and back on their feet in under an hour.

EVLT Treatment offers:

  • Up to 98% success rate with minimal-to-no scarring
  • Minimal cost to the patient – reimbursed by Medicare and most private insurers
  • 99.8% patient satisfaction with significant relief of symptoms