Varicose veins is a condition caused by dysfunctional valves present in the leg veins due to which blood flows back in veins, instead of going further to the heart, resulting in puffy, swollen veins called varicose veins.
It does not have major complications in most patients. Just a small percentage of patients with leg ulcers, throbbing, blood clots and bleeding veins may require surgical intervention.
Here we discuss some safe, low risk surgical procedures which allow the patient to go home the same day.
Endovenous laser treatment/ endothermal ablation
This is usually the first line of treatment for most patients. A probe is passed up the long leg vein called the saphenous vein. The heat from the radio waves or laser coming from the probe is used to seal off/ close off the vein, resulting in no blood supply. It is a safe, less invasive, non scar surgery.
A solution called sclerosant is injected into the veins, to damage the internal lining of the vein which leads to blood clotting in the veins. This vein is now as good as a dead vein now. The body gets rid of the vein on its own over a period of time. The sclerosant normally used is sodium tetra decyl sulphate(STD), in different concentration depending on the length of the vein. Though this is a simple procedure, it may need 2- 3 sessions of the treatment to get rid of the affected veins completely.
Varicose vein stripping
This is a 60- 90 minute procedure, starting with the initial assessment of the intensity and position of the affected veins. The actual procedure begins with patient being given a general/ spinal anesthesia, after which small cuts are given at various points on the veins, starting from the groin to the lower leg. A plastic wire is threaded and tied to the vein. Eventually the vein is pulled out through the incision at the lowermost point. The cuts are then stitched and compression stockings are placed to help deal with the discomfort. The stitches may take 2- 4 weeks to heal. The patient is asked to rest for the first four days, apart from propping up his legs while sitting and sleeping.
Although all of the above are low risk surgeries, it is good to inform the doctor about ones preexisting medical condition or medication. Very rarely, one may experience allergy to anesthesia, blood clotting. It is best to avoid the procedure in conditions like pregnancy and obesity.