Varicose Veins

Jefferson Radiology Website Article/Varicose Veins

Varicose veins Can be a Serious Health Matter

Varicose veins are bulging, abnormal veins anywhere in the body, but usually appear in the arms and legs. Veins have valves that are responsible for directing blood flow back to the heart. When valves become damaged, they cause the vein to stretch and pull blood away from the heart. This is called "venous insufficiency."

Individuals with varicose veins may have family history or be susceptible to them if they’re overweight. Varicose veins can become worse if your job demands long periods of time on your feet. More women are affected than men, because of hormones especially during pregnancy. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are smaller and appear like tree branches on the skin’s surface.

People with varicose veins might complain about swollen legs, or a tired or heavy feeling in their legs.

Varicose veins not only look unattractive, they also can be dangerous to your health. Varicose veins can lead to eczema, ulcers, bleeding, high blood pressure or phlebitis (blood clots). In some cases, it can lead to deep vein thrombosis, a painful, life-threatening condition if it's untreated.

New Options to Treat Varicose Veins are Fast and Painless

People with varicose veins can see them on their bodies. But it’s important to get a complete, accurate diagnosis by specialists with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins.

A painless exam called an ultrasound can diagnose the location of a faulty vein. Jefferson Radiology specialists in interventional radiology and image guided treatment solutions will develop a detailed map of your unique system of arteries and veins to evaluate your situation.

In the past, traditional vein stripping involved an operating room, open surgery and general anesthesia. Now, Jefferson Radiology offers treatment options that are fast, painless and performed without surgery or general anesthesia our Farmington, CT location.

Procedures are an hour or less in length, and are performed in the Jefferson Radiology office. Local anesthetic is given to patients. After treatment, patients are asked to walk on a treadmill at the office and then return home the same day. Patients notice immediate improvement and can usually return to work and normal activities the next day. Our high success rates generate high patient satisfaction as well.

Treatment options depend on a person's situation and may include:

  • Endovenous Laser Therapy: a procedure that uses laser energy to heat and ultimately destroy the vein. Specialists use fiber catheters to make tiny incisions, using image guidance technology.
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy: Small incisions are made in the skin on the surface of the vein.
  • Sclerotherapy: Medicine is injected into varicose or spider veins to make them shrink, then ultimately disappear.
  • After Treatment: What to Expect

    After vein removal, patients wear compression stockings and should avoid heavy exercise or strenuous lifting for several days. An initial follow-up appointment with a Jefferson Radiology physician is scheduled for 10 days after the procedure, then three months and one year later to assess your progress.

    To prevent recurrence of varicose veins long term, avoid hot tubs, long showers and other hot environments. Elevating the legs can help too, as well as walking. Daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is also very important.

    Jefferson Radiology Offers Complete Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging Solutions

    Jefferson Radiology is the largest, private practice radiology group in Connecticut, with seven locations. Experts here are specialists in advanced image-guided diagnostic and treatment solutions, including minimally invasive procedures to treat varicose veins and other conditions. Our imaging expertise extends to general radiology, advanced women’s imaging, neuroradiology and muscular-skeletal radiology.

    For 45 years, Jefferson Radiology has been committed to high quality imaging solutions and an unsurpassed level of personal service to patients and referring physicians.

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