The seasons are always changing, even when the differences from day to day may not be obvious. It’s important to look ahead and prepare for what coming months will bring. Even though in winter and spring we may look out our windows and see snow, now is the perfect moment to think about getting our legs ready for summer if we want them to look good and feel great in time for all that fun in the sun. Read on why we think the best time for vein treatment is winter or spring and check out the Guide to Healthier Pain-Free Legs.
Cosmetic issues, such as visible veins or spider veins, may decrease your confidence. Leg discomfort caused by poor vein health–such as pain, swelling and tiredness–can restrict your activity. That doesn’t sound like fun! Fortunately, treatments are available and non-invasive (and painless) or minimally invasive (and virtually pain-free).
A licensed phlebologist has the training and the special ultrasound equipment to detect and diagnose venous issues. The presence of varicose veins means that the valves in the veins are not functioning properly, causing reverse blood flow. This eventually creates the appearance of raised, thick veins, which can cause swelling, aching, skin changes and, sometimes, bleeding. The veins that pop up on the surface of the legs are what is often associated with vein problems, but there is another presentation of venous disease that isn’t visible.
When the damaged veins are under the skin, they can only be seen with an ultrasound. However, they might still cause leg discomfort from reverse blood flow. For treating both types of veins, the first step is to try a simple, non-invasive treatment.
The specialists at Artemis Colorado – Vein & Cosmetic Center always attempt to treat venous disease without any medical procedures. If you are diagnosed with a vein condition, we recommend that you wear compression stockings with a minimum pressure of 15 to 20 mmHg for three months, which is why it’s good to get an evaluation well before summer. Many patients discover that the discomfort and poor appearance caused by their vein condition is so improved by wearing compression stockings that they do not need any other treatment.
If compression stockings don’t alleviate symptoms, there are other options. One approach benefits your whole body, not just your legs! Following a program to reduce one’s BMI (body mass index) to 35 or below, while incorporating leg-strengthening exercises that work your calves and ankles, can do wonders. Your personal physician can advise you about the best exercises for your fitness level. Exercise can alleviate symptoms quickly, but if you experience pain between workouts, especially after standing for long periods, you can relax by elevating your legs to reduce swelling and relieve pressure.
If your veins resist these interventions, your phlebologist may recommend a gentle procedure called endovenous laser ablation, an approach that requires only a short recovery period and results in minimal if any discomfort. Over 99% of patients experience no complications.
Before treatment, you can enjoy a light meal. Most patients find it unnecessary to take medication for pain or anxiety, though it is available. During this minimally-invasive procedure, an advanced ultrasound machine helps locate the veins requiring treatment, and the doctor lightly marks the skin. The rest of the procedure is just as painless after the doctor administers a local anesthetic. A special hollow needle is then inserted into the diseased vein, granting access to a tiny laser fiber that will extend through the vein. The laser is turned on, and the vein is ablated as the fiber is withdrawn.
At Artemis Colorado – Vein & Cosmetic Clinic, we pride ourselves on our state-of-the-art CoolTouch™ laser. This is the best instrument for vein treatment because it creates less heat than other machines, resulting in less pain, less bruising, and a quicker recovery than any other laser available.
After treatment, patients wear compression stockings for 48 hours. Following the procedure, you can go about your day, though it’s best to take a break from your exercise routine and avoid strenuous activity. You may experience light bruising and minor pain or discomfort, but this indicates that your body is healing and is easily remedied with ibuprofen. Compression stockings are worn during the day for two more weeks. After that, get out the shorts and swimsuit and show off those healthier, smoother legs–it’s time for summer!
Call us if you are concerned about venous disease and we’ll discuss symptoms with you and walk you through a typical non-invasive treatment plan.