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Valves In The Veins Help Control Blood Flow

Mar 22

The human body has two types of blood vessels -- arteries, which carry oxygenated blood to different parts of the body, and veins, which carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart. When a vein becomes damaged, the condition is called varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI can cause pain and other symptoms. The good news is that damaged veins can be treated.

Varicose veins and damaged veins in legs are caused by weakened vein walls or faulty valves. Normally, one-way valves in the veins help control blood flow. When these veins malfunction, blood pools in the vein and causes it to enlarge and become visible under the skin. These veins are also at risk of developing a dangerous blood clot. Varicose and spider veins most often appear in the legs and pelvic area, but they can occur in other parts of the body.

Symptoms of vein disease are usually mild at first. They include achy, swollen, and heavy feeling legs. Eventually, these symptoms can interfere with your daily life. Some people can find relief from leg pain by elevating their feet a few times during the day and wearing elastic support stockings. Others can relieve symptoms by avoiding long periods of sitting or standing.

Treatment options vary according to the severity of your vein problem and how you feel. Generally, you can get better with lifestyle changes and medication. For example, anti-inflammatories can reduce pain and swelling, while blood thinners can decrease your risk for blood clots. If these treatments don't work, you may need surgery to remove or close a damaged vein.

Your doctor will assess your condition and recommend the best procedure based on your medical history, symptoms, and physical exam. The most common vein disease treatments include:

In this minimally invasive procedure, Center For Advanced Vein Care uses ultrasound imaging to guide a catheter into the affected vein. This tube has electrodes at its tip, which deliver heat to the inside of the vein in 20-second bursts. This causes the vein to collapse and your body to naturally reroute blood to healthy veins.

You have a choice of two methods for this procedure: endovenous thermal ablation or ligation/stripping. During the former, your provider numbs certain spots on your leg and uses a catheter to inject a solution that closes the affected vein. The surgeon then moves the tip of a small hook into the affected vein to remove it.

In this method, your Center For Advanced Vein Care vein specialist inserts a catheter with an attached needle into the affected vein. Then, a medical adhesive called VenaSeal is injected into the damaged vein and sealed shut. This method is less invasive than other minimally invasive procedures and you can go home the same day. It also has a lower rate of complications than the surgical removal of large varicose veins.