Varicose veins were traditionally treated by invasive surgeries with long recovery periods. However, surgery is no longer the only option!
What are Varicose Veins?
Bulging, twisted, and throbbing veins, most commonly in the legs, are called varicose veins. Normally, small valves in veins regulate blood flow to the heart by opening when muscles contract. When muscles relax, gravity causes the blood to fall. But in healthy veins, valves quickly close to prevent this. However, when valves fail to close properly, blood flows in the wrong direction – called venous reflux or insufficiency – causing pooling in the leg. Over time, constant pooling leads to bulges known as varicose veins.
Can Varicose Veins be Treated Without Surgery?
Thanks to technological advances, traditional surgical treatment for varicose veins can now be avoided. Non-surgical alternatives are now the recommended treatment option, owing to their minimally invasive nature and reduced procedure and recovery time. Additionally, all veins are gradually absorbed by the body and the blood rerouted, so there is no need for vein removal.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
The Vein Clinic offers several non-surgical treatment options. Firstly, targeting larger veins and those with blood clots, Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) involves the insertion of a catheter and laser fibre into the target vein, through which laser energy is channelled to emit heat, causing the vein walls to be destroyed and the vein to seal shut. To target larger, straighter veins, we also offer the Medical Superglue procedure, or Venaseal. It too uses a catheter, but instead of using energy, small amounts of superglue (cyanoacrylate) are inserted into the vein to seal it off. For the smallest veins, The Vein Clinic offers ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy. This technique uses an approved pharmaceutical sclerosant solution that irritates the lining of the vein walls. Compression stockings are then worn continuously for two weeks and the combination of the sclerosant and compression forces the vein walls to close and stick together.
Surgical Treatment Options for Varicose Veins
Surgical stripping has been the conventional option for varicose vein treatment. Requiring general anaesthetic, in this procedure a fine wire is inserted and secured to the vein. The wire is subsequently removed, stripping the vein out through the leg. The Vein Clinic does not recommend this procedure, as its 50% recurrence rate (over a 5-year period), invasive nature, and lengthy recovery time makes it an undesirable and outdated treatment option.
For smaller veins, however, we do perform phlebectomy procedures. After anaesthetising, tiny incisions are made in the leg next to the enlarged veins. A phlebectomy hook is inserted and the varicose veins are removed through the incisions, which are so small that stitches are usually not required. Additionally, The Vein Clinic is the first practice in WA to offer Clarivein, or Mechanico-Chemical Ablation (MOCA), a semi-surgical procedure requiring one incision to insert a rotating wire that allows the sclerosing liquid to better penetrate the vein wall lining and thus seal the vein.
How The Vein Clinic Can Help You
As the city’s only dedicated varicose vein clinic, The Vein Clinic offers the most extensive range of treatments for venous conditions in Perth. We pride ourselves on our ‘world-class’ treatment and deliver our services with passion and meticulous attention to detail.
For more information or to book a consultation, contact The Vein Clinic today.