Varicose & Spider Vein Treatment Options in St. Louis
Ablation for Varicose Veins and Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Today’s options for vein treatment are so much better than they used to be. The only option for those with varicose veins used to be vein stripping.
Now we have endovenous ablation and sclerotherapy to treat veins.
The Old Way: Vein Stripping Vein stripping is a painful procedure still performed today. Veins that are refluxing are surgically treated, cut and tied off. Vein stripping surgery meant general anesthesia, a surgical incision in the pelvis, and excision of the vein. It was and is an inconvenient and painful procedure. Side effects could be tissue trauma, scarring, or damage to nerves. This surgery also meant facing the risks of general anesthesia and possible post-surgical infection. Downtime was considerable, with a week of bed rest recommended after the surgery and pain requiring prescriptions.
Now: Improved Vein Treatment Now varicose veins are easily treated with endovenous ablation. Local anesthesia means a better procedure. We seal the problem vein safely and effectively, thus eliminating the problem at its source. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. Patients are able to walk out of our office without assistance within hours of arriving. Recovery is simple, and normal activities may be resumed right away. Our ablation methods are Endovenous Laser Ablation and Radiofrequency Ablation. Both safely seal unhealthy veins and allow them to be naturally reabsorbed by the body. There is only a tiny incision from the procedure, and very little discomfort accompanies these successful methods. They are the gold standard of vein care: Minimally invasive treatment achieving vein closure.
Results, Comfort & Convenience, Freedom
Varicose Veins: We permanently close the vein without having to surgically remove it. Through a small nick, Dr. Wright inserts a small catheter. Ultrasound view of the veins shows him where to precisely place the catheter to treat the vein. Local anesthetic like that used by a dentist helps numb the area being treated for maximum comfort.
Varicose vein treatment in this manner takes less than an hour. Patients walk out of the office. There is no problem with scarring from the tiny incision. Recovery takes place over a matter of hours or days. If medication is needed, it is simply over-the-counter pain reliever. Vein symptoms such as aching, tenderness or burning disappear quickly.
EVLT® (EndoVenous Laser Treatment) is the state of the art treatment of varicose veins. Varicose veins result from valve failure in the greater saphenous vein. Valve failure causes blood to back up into the lower leg. This backed-up blood often causes swelling and veins to become visible. EVLT® uses a laser through a small incision in the greater saphenous vein to seal the problem blood vessel. Blood flow is resumed by the surrounding healthy veins.
The Ablation Advantage
- Ceasing of symtpoms
- Increased well-being
- Local anesthesia means less recovery
- Less than an hour for treatment
- Fast recovery with
- Little postoperative discomfort
- Normal activities resumed the next day
- Success rate of 98 percent
- Little risk of noticeable scarring
- Relief from vein symptoms
- An improvement in well-being
- Confidence to show your legs
- Ability to do activities
- New energy
- Freedom from wearing compression stockings
- Cures the problem rather than just slowing or hiding it
Compared with Surgical Stripping
- No scars from operation
- No general anesthesia
- No need for pain medication
- No hospital time
- Much shorter recovery period
Please Note: Not all patients suffering from vein disease will be suitable candidates for this treatment. Check with your doctor.
Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy, injecting an irritant chemical into the vein, is excellent for small veins (spider veins) as a cosmetic procedure. This comfortable procedure is done in our office and one session takes about 45 minutes. Sclerotherapy can be done on cosmetic spider veins alone, or after endovenous ablation on varicose and their remaining spider veins.
Sometimes varicose vein treatment calls for a deeper version of sclerotherapy performed with ultrasound guidance to reach veins that are between a deeper varicose vein and a superficial spider vein. This is called ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Injections of simple cosmetic veins are called sclerotherapy. Spider veins respond beautifully to this treatment. Matted veins also respond well to sclerotherapy.
Patients often require several sclerotherapy treatments to completely clear an area. Sclerotherapy alone should not be used for refluxing saphenous veins, because the source of disease is not eliminated. But for veins on the surface of the leg, sclerotherapy is excellent treatment.