by J. Douglas Overbeck, MD, FACC
Tuscan Cardiovascuarl Center
While spring welcomes the opportunity to put on shorts and enjoy the great outdoors, many Americans cringe at the thought of showing their exposed legs. Why? Varicose veins – the purple-ish, often raised ridges that criss-cross up and down an effected leg or other part of the body. Varicose veins are a very common, and often unsightly and painful problem. Approximately 25 percent of women and 15 of men in the United States suffer from this condition. Women are especially prone to suffer from varicose veins because of pregnancy, and heredity has been shown to be a contributory factor.
How do varicose veins develop? To counteract the forces of gravity, veins have valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards as it is pumped back toward the heart. Over time, these valves can weaken, allowing the blood to pool inside the vein. This can cause the vein to distend, resulting in the “rope-like” appearance commonly associated with varicose veins. This condition can lead to a range of serious circulatory problems, including blood clots, leg ulcers and poor circulation. Many individuals exhibit symptoms of venous insufficiency to include swelling, throbbing, cramping and restless legs.
Until now, the only effective treatment for large varicose veins was vein stripping, a painful and invasive surgical procedure with a lengthy recovery period. Now patients have the option of a new non-surgical approach known as endovenous laser therapy.
Lasers have proven to be a popular strategy for many medical conditions because of the inherent precision, reliability and safety. A very thin laser fiber is inserted into the vein with local anesthetic and directed to the desired treatment location. When the laser is activated, thermal energy is delivered, causing the vein to close. The laser fiber is gradually withdrawn until the entire diseased vessel is treated. The whole procedure lasts less than one hour. After treatment, patients can walk immediately and return to normal activities. Visit tuscancardio.com to see videos of the procedure being performed.
A growing numbers of patients are choosing to have their varicose veins treated with the non-surgical laser for many reasons, including:
- Patients can be treated directly in the doctor’s office, not a hospital
- Patients return home immediately after the treatment
- Endovenous laser therapy is quick and long-lasting
- The treatment is cost-effective because there is no need for a hospital visit
According to medical research, endovenous laser therapy is well tolerated by patients, produces good cosmetic results and relief of symptoms. There is a 95 percent success rate reported on numerous studies.
Getting started with endovenous laser therapy is easy. Simply contact your doctor or Tuscan Vascular Center for an appointment to see if you are a candidate for this type of laser treatment. Summer is only a few months away. Don’t let the pain and embarrassment of varicose veins hold you back.
Dr. J. Douglas Overbeck is an Irving-based cardiologist with more than 20 years experience in providing cardiac care to patients in North Texas. He is the founder of the Tuscan Cardiovascular Center in Las Colinas and also primary cardiologist for the Medical & Surgical Clinic of Irving. To learn more about how you can reach your health and wellness goals, please call us at (972) 253-2505 or visit tuscancardio.com.