Nothing says Pantsuits Forever like Varicose Veins. While not medically dangerous, those thick, protruding blue lines can deal a huge blow to your sense of self-esteem, aging your body and limiting your wardrobe to maximum coverage… not ideal when you live in hot climates like Miami.
Varicose veins are simply veins that have become enlarged and twisted. The term commonly refers to the veins on the leg, although varicose veins can occur elsewhere.
At mia Aesthetics, we offer a range of surgical and non-surgical options to eliminate unsightly varicose veins as well as those smaller spider veins no one wants, either. This page specifically addresses the surgical options of vein stripping and small incision avulsion.
Because there are so many different kinds of treatments to eradicate veins, your free consultation with a mia Aesthetics physician is ideal to not only identify problem areas that can benefit from treatment, but to also identify which treatment may be ideal for you.
The doctor will conduct tests, delve into your medical history to rule out any hereditary or genetic conditions, examine your legs and noticeable veins, and ask about any symptoms you may be experiencing.
One of the diagnosis tests performed includes duplex ultrasounds which consist of high frequency sound waves bouncing off the inside of the body and producing images of the blood vessels. Another test is a venography. This test allows the doctor to see the anatomy of the veins. Using a radioactive dye, the doctor will be able to see the highlighted veins on the x-ray for extremely accurate results.
Be prepared with questions and concerns about everything from the actual procedure to how long it’ll take to see results to the recuperation involved.
Ideally, you want to get rid of varicose veins for cosmetic reasons and don’t have health problems that would make surgery riskier. Perhaps your legs ache, swell, or feel heavy, especially after prolonged standing. Other symptoms that make you ideal for varicose vein surgery include a varicose vein that bleeds or have led to open sores because of varicose veins or poor blood circulation in a vein. Restless legs are another problem brought on by varicose veins or perhaps your legs feel warm to the touch by the protruding veins. Be sure to share all your symptoms with your mia Aesthetics surgeon at the consultation.
This is a surgical approach to treating varicose veins that puts patients under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon make several incisions in the legs, possibly in the groin or upper leg area, in order to place a wire into the veins to help remove the varicose veins. Vein stripping removes varicose veins and keeps them from coming back in 90 out of 100 people. It doesn’t work for 10 out of 100 people. It is a particularly indicated procedure if the problem vein is the great saphenous vein. Your doctor may couple this procedure with small incision avulsion.
Small Incision Avulsion
Similar to vein stripping, small incision avulsions can be performed by passing tiny hooks through small incisions in the leg to pull the veins and correct their placement until they are no longer visible beneath the skin. This procedure can be performed with or without vein stripping.
After vein stripping or small incision avulsion, you will have some pain from the cuts (incisions) the doctor made. Your leg may feel stiff or sore for the first 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will give you pain medicine for this. You can expect your leg to be bruised at first. This is a normal part of recovery and may last 2 to 3 weeks. You may need to wear tight bandages, a.k.a. compression dressings to help reduce bruising. If you have stitches, they may dissolve on their own or your mia Aesthetics surgeon may take them out 7 to 14 days after your surgery.
You will need to take it easy at home for 3 to 7 days after the surgery. The amount of time it takes for you to recover depends on how many veins were removed. Meantime, you will be advised to get rest, ease up on any strenuous activity like bike riding or running for 2-3 weeks, refrain from driving for at least a couple of days, and feel free to ice your legs for pain relief (putting a thin cloth between the ice and your skin). Do NOT take a bath that will immerse you legs in water for the first two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you thorough post-surgery instructions and incision care to follow.
What kinds of conditions could disqualify me from varicose vein therapy?
Poor circulation in the arteries of the legs could indicate you are not a good candidate for varicose vein, as is any swelling and fluid buildup due to blockage in the lymph vessels (lymphedema), skin infections, or blood-clotting defects. Vein stripping surgery is seldom done for people who have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) resulting from deep vein problems and who also have varicose veins.
How long do varicose veins remain after treatment?
Patients will start noticing the fading and even disappearance of varicose veins beneath the skin. However, there is also a possibility that more veins can develop in the future since there is no cure for weak vein valves.
Can removing veins from my legs potentially create a circulation problem for me?
Removing varicose veins usually does not cause circulation problems, because other veins in the legs will take over the work of the veins that were removed.
Are varicose veins common?
Varicose veins are very common, especially in the United States. It is believed that 72% of women and 45% of men will develop varicose veins before the age of 50.
Can I do anything to prevent varicose veins?
Yes, exercising and watching your weight help. Changing your sitting or standing position regularly is recommended as is elevating your legs. Sitting in the same position for long stretches of time is bad for your legs made worse if you sit with your legs bent or crossed. Ladies are also advised to avoid high heels and tight hosiery.
Are these surgeries permanent?
They are permanent and highly effective. Your surgeon may recommend you regularly use compression stockings to prevent the creation of future veins, particularly if you have weak veins and are prone to developing them.