Throbbing legs. Bulging twisted veins. Itchy, heavy legs.
You’re not alone. In fact, the Mayo clinic reports more than 3 million people in the U.S. deal with varicose veins each year. Many of us start seeing those unwanted blue veins as early as in our 20s. Aside from being unsightly, these veins can cause the area to cramp, throb at night and can seep fluids onto the skin surface causing irritation.
While the exact causes of varicose veins may be unclear, it seems age, genetics and hormones can play a big part. As we age, veins can lose their elasticity and begin to stretch, allowing blood to pool, enlarge and become varicose. Some pregnant women also develop varicose veins due to increased blood volume during pregnancy and decreased blood flow from their legs.
So, what is a good treatment for varicose veins – and are YOU a good candidate?
Endo Venous Laser Ablation (EVLA) is a laser treatment wherein a tiny laser fiber is inserted into the vein, and energy from the laser fills the vein and stops the flow of blood through it. This collapses the vein and it soon disappears. The blood that would normally flow through that vein is naturally diverted to another healthier vein.
The benefits of EVLA are:
- The procedure only lasts about an hour.
- You are completely conscious as only a local anesthetic is applied to your skin.
- You can go home and resume normal activities, walking is actually encouraged.
- You can return to work immediately.
- You will notice the skin where the vein was treated become smoother and clear.
If you meet two or more of the following, you may be a good candidate for this procedure.
- Leg pain, aching, cramping, heaviness, burning or itchy skin
- Family history of varicose veins
- Restless Leg
- If you are in a profession requiring long periods of standing time
Prior to being scheduled for the procedure, the candidate will have a history taken and physical exam and a duplex ultrasound exam. There are several contraindications for this treatment and your doctor will discuss them with you if they are relevant.