Veins that are visible through your skin, especially those that tend to get twisted and gnarled and pop up in 3D and in color, are called varicose veins. Some are small webs of tangled veins known as spider veins, others are more prominent protrusions. They can range in color from blue to red to purple, and they are typically harmless unless you count the damage to your ego and self-esteem.
Occasionally, these ropey veins can indicate chronic venous insufficiency, meaning you have a problem with your circulation. Left untreated, this condition may lead to blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. Fortunately, treatment is simple and effective and readily available at Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute. Dr. Gary Jones brings years of experience and skill to his patients throughout Alexandria, Louisiana, and treats these common vein problems quickly with Venefit™ endovenous laser ablation. Here’s how it works.
When your heart beats, it pumps blood out through arteries to the rest of your body. Veins are the vessels that carry the blood back to your heart again. Unfortunately, veins don’t have the advantage of momentum, and they also have to deal with the pull of gravity, especially when traveling from your feet and up your legs.
To help your blood along its upward journey, your veins have internal valves that prevent backflow. It’s a very efficient system until something goes wrong and damages the veins or the valves. Potential culprits include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being pregnant
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
As the vein walls weaken and the valves fail, blood begins to pool and force the veins to bulge and become visible. As we mentioned, this is often no more than a cosmetic issue, but they can lead to some complications, such as:
- Pain and discomfort
- Redness and swelling
- Unexplained heaviness and fatigue in legs
- Leg cramps
- Restless leg syndrome
- Blood clots
- Bleeding ulcers
Whether your vein problems are a harmless aesthetic issue or a serious medical concern, Dr. Jones offers several effective treatments, including endovenous laser ablation.
How endovenous laser ablation (EVLT) works
The good news about damaged veins is that you have many other healthy veins that work just fine. The goal of treating varicose veins is to close off the damaged veins and redirect the blood flow to stronger, healthier veins. That’s where EVLT comes in.
Dr. Jones uses a slender catheter guided by ultrasound technology to enter your damaged vein. He then activates the laser energy, which heats up the interior of the vein and causes the walls to collapse and close as he removes the catheter. The process is quick and painless and extremely effective.
Dr. Jones makes only a tiny incision, so you don’t have to worry about a large scar. And because you only need a local anesthetic, you can get up and walk within about 10 minutes after the procedure — no downtime necessary.
Although it may take a few weeks for the destroyed veins to shrivel up and get absorbed and eliminated, you will notice them shrinking and becoming less visible every day.
If you have unsightly varicose veins and want to find out if they are cause for concern, contact us by phone or online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones and to find out if EVLA is right for you.