How Varicose Veins Form

Before we can discuss varicose vein treatment, we need to briefly discuss what causes them. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart. In order to keep blood flowing upward when we are on our feet, we have hundreds of sets of leaflets within our leg veins that act as one-way check valves to keep the blood flowing upwards against the pull of gravity. These valves can become faulty in certain veins underneath the skin surface. When this happens the blood flows backwards into the skin surface causing an elevated pressure in the veins. Since veins are normally low pressure blood vessels that are not made to withstand the abnormal increase in pressure, they start to dilate and elongate, curving back and forth on themselves.  The development  of large varicose veins in your legs has now started. When valves in the veins under the skin surface become faulty they do not repair themselves.  The progressive worsening of varicose veins through time coupled with the effects of gravity is almost always  a certainty.

medical illustration of the effects of the varicose veins

Abnormal Venous Flow                 Normal Venous Flow

Heredity is a major contributing factor to the development of varicose veins in men and women. Occupations that require prolonged standing, sitting or are physically demanding often place individuals at a greater risk of developing varicose veins in their lifetime. Hormonal influences and pregnancy are contributing factors for women.

Varicose Vein Treatment Process

Once valves become faulty in a vein under the skin surface, this underlying cause of your varicose veins needs to be addressed first. Following a thorough medical history and physical examination of your legs, an ultrasound evaluation needs to be performed to help determine where, if any, of the valves have become incompetent. After the faulty valves are identified, a varicose vein treatment plan is formed. All health and medical concerns are considered before deciding which vein treatment option is best for you.

Today, the best way to treat incompetent  veins under the skin surface is to close them with an FDA approved procedure called Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT). The procedure was approved by the FDA in 2002 for treating patients with large varicose veins. A thin flexible laser fiber is inserted into the abnormal vein. The vein is anesthetized and the vein wall is then heated with thermal energy. Subsequently, the body’s natural healing allows the non-functioning vein under the skin surface to close, relieving the abnormal pressure in the visible veins on the leg. These visible veins are then eliminated with sclerotherapy.

About EVLT Treatment

Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT) is a minimally invasive office-based procedure which eliminates the need for surgery in the vast majority of patients. During the EVLT procedure, there is no need for general anesthesia or sedation. In experienced hands the EVLT procedure is well tolerated by patients and allows for immediate resumption of most day-to-day activities. There are several lasers and thermal generating devices in the market today. Dr. Kuefner is pleased to offer CoolTouch laser technology to his patient’s.

“The advantage of the CoolTouch technology is the minimization of post-treatment tenderness and discomfort. With the CoolTouch technology I can obtain excellent closure results with very little post-treatment discomfort. Most patients tell me they did not even require an aspirin.” – Dr. George Kuefner, M.D.    

About Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a popular and effective method of eradicating large varicose veins to very small spider veins. It involves micro-injections of an FDA approved medication into the abnormal veins. The medication irritates the lining of the vein and the vein wall. The veins are then compressed with a graduated compression stocking which promotes closing of the abnormal veins. Ultrasound is sometimes used to place injections under the skin surface precisely where they will be of the most benefit. Walking each day promotes healing. The veins are such thin walled vessels that once they are closed you cannot see them. The legs feel better because the blood is no longer allowed to pool and stagnate within the abnormal veins. Dr. Kuefner is one of the most experienced sclerotherapists in the in the United States. He uses only FDA approved sclerosing medication.To find out which vein treatments are appropriate for you, contact The Vein Center of Orland Park today to make your appointment to see Dr. Kuefner. (708) 460-8800