What is vein removal?
Vein removal is the procedure done to remove or destroy varicose veins. These are the veins that have become enlarged or swollen and can occur on any part of the body, but generally appear in the surface veins of the legs just under the skin.
There are several different procedures that are done for vein removal at West Hills:
* Adhesive sealing which seals the affected veins close to the skin with an adhesive.
* Vein stripping is a surgical procedure where the vein is pulled out from under the skin through minimal incisions.
* Sclerotherapy is where the vein is injected with a chemical to shrink it.
* Radiofrequency ablation collapses the varicose vein and seals it using radiofrequency energy.
* Phlebectomy is another type of surgical procedure to remove or destroy the varicose vein.
Why should you have veins removed?
Your veins are one way valves to move blood back to your heart. When your veins become damaged it is called, varicose veins. Blood is pooling in your vein making it enlarged and you are then able to see them through your skin. These veins will normally turn your skin a dark purple or brown color as the pressure increases.
Some people have them treated for cosmetic reasons, while others do so for health reasons. In some people the discolored skin can break open and cause open sores. Clots can also form in the pooled blood making the area burn, ache or throb.
The different procedures for vein removal at West Hills:
Phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove varicose veins from the surface of the skin. There are two forms; ambulatory and transilluminated powered phlebectomy. The doctor will use a small scalpel or needle and normally performs it with the use of a local anesthetic. There is seldom any special preparation necessary for this procedure.
Radiofrequency ablation is a medical procedure where the dysfunctional tissue of the veins is ablated with heat generated from the medium frequency alternating current. The doctor will apply heat to the damaged tissue of the vein which will make it form scar tissue. This scar tissue will result in the vein closing. Radiofrequency energy is used rather than a laser to heat and damage the wall inside a vein.
It will be directed through a tube, inserted through a small incision right into the vein. Recovery is short and you are generally able to walk following this treatment.
Schlerotherapy is the medical procedure to eliminate both varicose and spider veins (spider veins are capillaries on the skin resembling spider legs and are usually red, purple and blue. They also twist and turn and are visible through the skin). The procedure is done by injecting a special chemical called, sclerosant into the vein. This will damage and scar the inside lining of the vein forcing it to close.
The procedure generally takes 5 to 30 minutes depending on the number of veins requiring treatment. You may need to wear compression stockings following injections to maintain pressure for several days.
Vein stripping can be done under local anesthetic and the vein will be stripped or pulled out from under the skin using minimal incisions. This is considered minor surgery and it will remove the damaged vein and prevent complications that can result from vein damage.
An incision is made under the damaged vein and it is tied off. It is not necessary to stay in the hospital; this procedure can be done as an outpatient service. You will be able to return to work within a few days.
Adhesive sealing is a new treatment for varicose veins that will permanently treat them. It seals the affected veins with an adhesive approved recently by the FDA. The adhesive will cut off blood supply to affected vein with an injection through a catheter inserted into the skin and into the affected vein. Ultrasounds are done to show where the catheter needs to be placed.
After you have a vein removal at West Hills you should return home and keep your legs elevated to give them time to heal and ensure a smooth recover. Make sure you follow all doctor instructions and call if there are any questions regarding your recovery.