Varicose veins are a painful and unsightly medical problem. Today’s most advanced treatments for varicose veins do not involve surgery, however, there is still a significant number of patients who undergo surgical vein removal to treat their varicose veins. There are some significant vein removal risks of surgery. It’s important to be fully informed of and understand your treatment options prior to deciding upon and undergoing any varicose vein treatment, so that you make the best decision for your circumstances as well as your ongoing health and wellbeing, including your recovery and outcomes.
Varicose Veins: Options for Treatment
There are a number of options for the treatment of varicose veins; some of them are more effective than others. These include:
- Sclerotherapy: guided by ultrasound, a liquid irritant is injected into the blood vessel; this causes the vein to swell and stick together, essentially permanently blocking off the blood flow from the vein. The vein is eventually absorbed by the body.
- Radiofrequency: otherwise referred to as endovenous ablation, this uses ultrasound-guided radiofrequency heat to permanently seal veins.
- Endovenous Laser Therapy: veins are destroyed with the use of a laser device. The vein is punctured and a fine laser probe is inserted. Upon activation of the laser, the vein’s walls close off as the laser is withdrawn from the vein.
- Surgery: traditionally, varicose veins were surgically treated. This involves making an incision in the top of the vein and tying it off (ligation). A thin wire is then inserted into the length of the vein; it pulls the vein out as it is removed (stripping). Smaller incisions may be required to separate adjacent veins that connect to the vein being removed. Other veins in the leg would subsequently take over the job of carrying the blood that flowed in the now-absent vein. This requires a general anaesthetic and a stay in the hospital.
Vein Removal Risks
Minimally-invasive options are far better in most cases as they mitigate many of the vein removal risks of surgery. These surgical risks include:
- General Anaesthetic – is always required for vein stripping surgery and this carries inherent risks.
- Wound Infection – requires antibiotic treatment.
- Chest Infection – associated with the administration of a general anaesthetic, particularly in smokers.
- Fluid leakage – clear or blood-stained fluid may leak from the groin incision, or it may collect under the incision (lymphocele). This may take a number of weeks to settle.
- Nerve Injury – 5% of vein stripping surgery patients will experience nerve injury and reduced sensation in the leg. This usually resolves in time.
- Recurrence – between 6-7% of patients will experience a recurrence of their varicose veins, possibly requiring further treatment, within a decade.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis – this is a risk with any surgical procedure and can occur following surgery for varicose veins. Those at greatest risk are patients with extensive varicosity associated with changes to the skin.
- Long Downtime – after surgery, recovery takes much longer than for minimally-invasive vein treatment procedures.
Additionally, surgical treatment leads to the requirement for more analgesic medication than minimally-invasive treatment options do.
Non-Surgical Vein Treatment: Safe and Pain-Free
Here at Crows Nest Cosmetic and Vein Clinic, we offer the most innovative and medically-advanced varicose vein treatments that eliminate many of the vein removal risks associated with surgical stripping and ligation. When you visit us for your minimally-invasive varicose vein treatment, you will undergo no surgery, have no general anaesthetic, no hospital stay, and require no stitches. There is no need for you to take any time off work, and you’ll save money, as our costs are lower than for surgery.
Non-Surgical Varicose Vein Treatment at Crows Nest Cosmetic and Vein Clinic
At Crows Nest Vein Clinic, you’ll undergo world-class varicose vein treatment by highly experienced, specialised health professionals. Dr Nicole James has had extensive experience, having trained for a number of years in vascular and cardiothoracic surgery prior to undertaking training in endovenous laser and ultrasound guided procedures. Our Clinic was the first in NSW to use the NeoV Laser technique which causes less bruising than other lasers.
Medicare rebates apply on vein treatments and your first consultation with us is 100% covered by Medicare. Contact us today for more information or an obligation-free consultation regarding varicose vein treatment to eliminate the vein removal risks of surgery.