Is Modern Varicose Vein Surgery a Serious Procedure?
Three decades ago, surgery was a common treatment for varicose veins. But vein medicine has seen remarkable advances, and surgery is no longer required for most varicosities. How serious is varicose vein surgery now? It has improved significantly over the past 30 years, so it is much safer than when your parents or grandparents had it done. Some vein surgeries are now ambulatory, meaning you don’t need to be put to sleep, and you can move around afterward.
But vein surgery still carries risks of bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, nerve damage, and more. Book an appointment with the top vein doctors in New Jersey to reduce the risks associated with vein treatment. Vein surgery is not as serious of a procedure as it once was. But it is now only used for the most serious varicose veins.
Patients with blood clots and severe tortuosity might need their vein surgically removed. But most patients are well suited to endovenous procedures that treat veins without extracting them. Our award-winning vein specialists will not recommend unnecessary surgery. With our state-of-the-art technology, we perform low-risk, minimally invasive procedures with incomparable results.
Do You Need to Wear Compression Stockings After Surgery?
Whether you have varicose vein surgery or a minimally invasive vein treatment, you might need to wear compression stockings for a few days. The compression helps pump blood out of your veins, so you don’t develop a blood clot. It also helps reroute blood away from the treated vein and into veins that can pump it back to the heart. In addition, compression helps reduce swelling following a medical procedure. There are several ways to treat varicose veins and they don’t all require compression afterward.
Your vein doctor will analyze your vasculature, medical history, and symptoms to determine if compression is right for you. They will fit you with the right sized stockings to make sure the compression is adequate but not excessive. With minimally invasive vein treatments, wearing compression stockings won’t slow you down. You can still exercise, shower, bathe, or swim when your doctor approves it, and your physician will likely permit you to remove the compression during certain activities.
Do All Enlarged Veins Require Surgery?
No, all enlarged veins do not require surgery. Vein surgery is reserved for certain cases, such as people with a history of blood clots. Most patients will either receive sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, mechanochemical ablation, or vein adhesives to treat their varicose veins.
These are all non-surgical procedures, so they’re conducted in the office, rather than the hospital. Patients can drive themselves home, since there’s no general anesthesia. Many people seek these treatments on a lunch break and go back to work. Most veins do not require surgery, and some veins don’t require treatment at all.
It’s possible for a vein to be enlarged without being varicose. For instance, you might notice your forehead veins bulging after a tense day, a lot of coffee, a workout, or a hot shower. These factors increase blood pressure, and since the skin on the face is thinner than the torso or legs, these veins visibly protrude. They should reduce in size once blood pressure lowers, and they aren’t as twisted or symptomatic as varicose veins.
In addition, some veins that are varicose do not require immediate treatment. A qualified vein doctor can look at your veins with ultrasound imaging to determine whether it’s safe to monitor your varicose vein, or whether treatment is mandatory. In most cases, the sooner you treat the varicose vein, the better, since they can worsen over time and produce debilitating symptoms.
Can You Treat Varicose Veins with Endovenous Lasers Instead?
As mentioned, there are several surgical alternatives to treat varicose veins. These methods are favored by both vein doctors and patients since they are faster, gentler, safer, and more affordable. They’re also less likely to prevent a complication or recurrence. Some studies show that varicose veins are more likely to grow back (revascularization) after being surgically cut out of the body.
Minimally invasive vein treatments destroy the vein inside the body, rather than cutting or pulling it loose. So, minimally invasive treatments work better for most patients in the long run. Options include endovenous laser therapy and radiofrequency ablation, both of which use thermal energy to heat the vein and seal it shut.
Other methods include sclerotherapy and vein adhesives, which inject either an irritant or a glue into the vein to close it. Mechanochemical ablation injects a sclerosant into the vein and also rotates a catheter to disrupt the vein’s walls and prompt its closure. There are several excellent options to treat varicose veins without surgery. When you choose board certified vein doctors at an accredited vein center, treatment is often completely covered by insurance.
Does a Small Cut or Thin Tube Reduce Recovery Time?
The small cut or injection site used in a minimally invasive procedure has a rapid recovery time. There are no stitches to heal and no large wounds to deal with. Patients can walk around right after treatment and are advised to walk daily. Minimally invasive treatments use a small tube to deliver medicine or send a laser fiber to the vein. It’s the size of a hollow needle, so it requires no post-procedural care or downtime from work.
The large, deep cuts used in vein surgery require more recovery time. They’re often closed with stitches or sutures or a medical adhesive, so they require careful attention. You might need to avoid exercise, bathing, swimming, and other activities for a while after vein surgery. You’ll need to keep the wounds clean and monitor for signs of infection, blood clot, or bleeding.
Most patients need to take some time off work to heal from vein surgery like traditional phlebectomy. However, options like ambulatory phlebectomy require less downtime. Ask your vein specialist which surgeries and surgical alternatives you are eligible for, and choose a vein doctor who takes the least invasive approach possible.
When Should You Talk with Your Doctor About Varicose Veins?
The sooner you talk with your doctor about varicose veins, the better your results will be. As varicose veins progress, they can cause cramping, restlessness, itching, swelling, and fatigue in the legs. Many patients also develop complications like venous ulcerations, venous stasis dermatitis, and profuse bleeding. Varicose veins usually stem from valve failure which must be addressed to prevent the formation of additional spider veins and varicose veins. Treatment is often non-surgical, so don’t delay your consultation.
Where Can You Treat a Varicose Saphenous Vein in New Jersey?
If you have spider veins or varicose veins, visit our award-winning vein centers in New Jersey. We have convenient locations in Clifton, Paramus, Woodland Park, Woodbridge, and Scotch Plains. All of our vein centers are fully accredited and run by board certified vein doctors. Treating saphenous veins in the legs doesn’t typically require surgery, but it often requires an endovenous approach, not the surface lasers used by dermatologists. Visit our Centers of Excellence for cutting-edge vascular care.