Summer clothes are just around the corner but you don’t have to hide your legs this year
Commentary by Dr. Jeffery Schoonover
Are you unhappy with the appearance of your legs? Do you avoid wearing clothing that shows your legs? Are you experiencing swelling and discomfort in your legs? Do you have a network of spider veins crawling across your legs? Do you have bulging, twisted veins? This summer you can grab your shorts or bathing suit and enjoy the summer sun.
When we have varicose vein disease, valves in our legs do not work properly and allow some of the venous blood to flow backwards and pool in our legs, resulting in bulging veins and symptoms such as pain, swelling, tiredness or redness. If an individual has bulging veins or is suffering from discomfort, treatment may be required to relieve symptoms. Spider veins may not always cause discomfort but can be of a cosmetic concern. Diagnostic ultrasound vein mapping should be performed to determine the abnormal areas of blood flow in both of the legs. With that information, a comprehensive plan of treatment can be determined.
Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. Using ultrasound guidance, a small laser fiber is inserted through the skin into the varicosed vein. Laser energy is delivered inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Once that vein is closed, the blood reroutes to other healthy veins. This procedure is done in-office, under local anesthetic. It usually takes 30-45 minutes. Following the procedure, patients wear a compression stocking on the treated leg. Most patients return to work within a day or two; many return to work the same day. EVLT may also be accompanied by sclerotherapy, which is a straightforward strategy to treat any residual, problematic veins. This involves using a very small needle to inject a solution into the veins, which cause them to collapse and disappear.
Beyond the obvious health benefits of treatment is the improved appearance of the legs. If you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins or if you are bothered by the cosmetic appearance of your legs, a consultation is important. Treatment is easy and will dramatically improve your quality of life.
Jeffery P. Schoonover, M.D., FAAFP, RVT, RPVI
Indiana Vein Specialists
11876 Olio Road, Suite 700
Fishers, IN 46037