Do you have varicose veins?
If you have the following symptoms you probably suffer from venous disorder:
- Dark red or blue veins
- Twisted, bulging, protruding, looking like cord veins
- Restless legs
- Swelling of the ankles, calves and feet
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are distended and twisted veins. This abnormal and permanent swelling is caused by a loss of elasticity of the veins’ walls and valves.
Why do veins become problematic?
Veins are part of a redundant system which brings the blood back to the heart, therefore, the veins in our legs must normally work against gravity. Vein walls and valves may lose their elasticity and become contorted, insufficient vessels. These varicose veins may slow down or interrupt the normal blood flow and become an obstacle to the return of the blood to the heart .
Les causes principales et facteurs aggravants sont :
Principal causes and risk factors:
- Hereditary factors
- Lack of mobility
Varicose vein problems may lead to serious complications if left untreated
The most common and known complications are:
- Heaviness in the legs
- Dermatological problems (varicose eczema, stasis dermatitis, varicose ulcers, bleedings, etc.)
- Superficial thrombophlebitis (ST)
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary thromboembolism
Many different varicose vein treatments exist and our clinic provides specialized treatments not often available elsewhere.
The following table provides a general description of most of the commonly available treatments at our clinic, and others that are not.
Please note that the small, dilated thin veins located on the surface or near the surface of the skin (spider veins or telangiectasias) are not treated at our clinic.
|Treatment||Description||Explanation||Offered at our clinic|
|Ambulatory phlebectomy||This technique consists of a surgical removal of varicose veins, especially the superficial branches.The skin is punctured with a needle, and the diseased veins are gently removed with a tiny microsurgery hook inserted in the needle hole. This treatment is performed under local anesthesia and causes very little bleeding. Since the incisions are not done with a scalpel but with the cutting tip of a needle, the sutures are minimal and the scars are usually imperceptible after several weeks.||Defective branches from the saphenous veins are responsible for easily visible varicose veins under the skin. These veins manifest as bumps or visible seams, palpable and sensitive. These veins tend to appear often too close to the surface, therefore, the treatments with laser or radiofrequency are not recommended due to the risk of causing burns on the skin . Additionally, these veins are often numerous and too thin to be removed by a laser or a radiofrequency fiber.
Phlebectomy scars are quite small, only 1 or 2 mm in diameter and heal fast. They become virtually invisible a few months after the treatment.
|Endovenous laser||This technique consists of introducing a laser fiber, under the skin near the calf or knee region. The varicose vein is then closed (cauterized) due to the heat generated by the laser light. The sealed saphenous vein completely disappears a few months later. The treatment is performed under local anesthetic only.||Endovenous laser treatment is being used since 2001 and has an excellent success rate of over 98%.|
|Endovenous radiofrequency||This treatment is similar to that of endovenous laser, except that the source of heat for this procedure, comes from the radio frequency energy.||This non-invasive technology allows for simple aftercare instructions, while minimizing risks of pain and inflammation. This treatment is similar to that of endovenous laser, except that the source of heat for this procedure, comes from the radio frequency energy caliber.|
|VenasealTM Closure System||This technique involves injecting a small amount of medical adhesive into the diseased vein. The adhesive obstructs the diseased vein, and the blood is then redirected to healthy veins nearby, improving blood circulation.||This new technique is currently not available at our clinic because it still presents controversial results, and is delivered at a significantly higher cost. Our Clinic will continue reviewing the relevance and effectiveness of this technique.|
|Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy of saphenous veins (echo-sclerotherapy)||This technique consists of injecting foamed sclerosing liquid into the varicose veins.||This treatment is often used for conspicuous veins of smaller caliber, but that are still bigger than spider veins and varicosities. It sometimes requires numerous sessions and has a higher recurrence rate. Dr. Mercier uses this technique only as a complement to other surgical removal treatments.|
|Sclerotherapy for small varicose and spider veins or telangiectasias||This technique consists of injecting a nontoxic liquid (dextrose and water) using a very small needle into spider veins. This treatment requires several sessions.||This service is not offered at our Clinic.
For cosmetic treatments after any of our procedures, the Clinic may refer the patients to some well known and trusted specialists that perform such procedures.
|Saphenectomy (« Stripping »)||This procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the groin area and performs ligation of the vein to its origin. Subsequently, several incisions are made over the length of the leg from the thigh down. The vein is then eradicated, often leaving visible scars.||Severe complications are possible after this type of surgery: postoperative pain, nerve damage that can lead to numbness, bruising, and damage to the lymphatic tissues that can lead to chronic swelling of the leg. The recovery time is between three to four weeks. This procedure is still practiced in hospitals and is covered by the Régie d’Assurance Maladie du Québec. Dr. Mercier stopped using this technique in 2002. This technique has a recurrence rate of about 25%.|