The Greater Saphenous Vein in the thigh is the vein that ‘feeds’ the varicose veins. Closing this vessel is required to treat abnormal veins further down the leg. Imagine a fire hose as it appears plumped up with water, and then, with the water off, the hose becomes flat. By closing the Saphenous Vein, we’re ‘turning off the water’ to the veins downstream, emptying and flattening them.
The procedure is relatively painless and takes about an hour. A small laser fiber is inserted into the Greater Saphenous Vein and threaded to its origin. Activation of the laser heats the lining of the vein, damaging it and causing it to close. Normal activities can be resumed immediately with the exception of heavy lifting or running (may resume in 72 hours)
After closing the saphenous vein, there are occasions when abnormal veins persist and further treatment is required. This may include one or more of the following:
This is a minor surgical procedure, done under local anesthetic in the office. Tiny incisions are made along the course of the abnormal vein and it is removed. The incisions are so small they do not require sutures and generally heal with very little to no scarring.
Smaller veins (and some larger ones) are treated with the injection of a chemical directly into the problem vein. There are two chemicals which have been approved by the FDA for this type of therapy, polydocinol and sodium tetradecyl sulfate. These chemicals cause localized damage to the vein wall, causing it to collapse and scar closed. This is the treatment most commonly used for spider veins. Multiple treatments may be required depending on the size of the veins and the area being addressed.
3. Compression stockings
Compression stockings are an important part of any vein treatment. Although they will not cause varicose or spider veins to disappear, they can help prevent formation of further abnormal veins and can relieve symptoms of CVI, especially swelling. They are a valuable tool following any treatment for varicose or spider veins in that they encourage healing and vein closure by helping to keep pressures in the remaining open veins normal. We will have compression stockings available for purchase, or you are welcome to acquire them from a vendor of your choice.