Our veins are lined with tiny valves that propel blood toward the heart. But when these valves become weakened, blood can pool in a vein and cause it to enlarge. Such enlargement causes varicose veins. The surgeons of White Plains Hospital offer a minimally invasive approach to treat varicose veins which is not commonly offered in community hospitals. It is faster and less painful that traditional surgery, and achieves an attractive cosmetic appearance.
Varicose veins are most often a cosmetic problem affecting the legs. But in some people, they can cause a full or heavy feeling in the leg, pain, and mild swelling of the ankles. In more severe cases, skin ulcers can develop near the ankle.
Varicose veins are commonly diagnosed by physical examination. If the doctor wants to rule out more serious disorders (such as a blood clot), a duplex ultrasound test or, rarely, venography (special x-rays of the veins) may be ordered. Duplex ultrasound is available at White Plains Hospital.
The surgeons of White Plains Hospital are highly experienced in the use of endovascular radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of varicose veins. During this approach, a catheter is advanced to the site of the affected vein, and targeted heat is applied to seal it closed. Blood that would normally travel through the vein journeys back to the heart through other veins instead. The treated vein gradually shrinks and is absorbed by the body.
Some patients benefit from sclerotherapy - the injection of chemicals into an affected vein to close it off. Multiple treatments may be needed.
A surgical procedure called "vein stripping" is usually performed by vascular surgeons when a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein becomes thick and rope-like. This surgery is usually reserved for more severe cases of varicose veins that impair blood flow or cause pain or skin ulcers. This procedure is performed at White Plains Hospital.