Are you concerned about your varicose or spider veins? A number of SmartClinics Medical Centers offer proven medical treatments to help patients with varicose and spider veins. These treatments are currently available at our Medical Centres in George Street by Dr Hugh Wall, and Burleigh Heads by Dr Aaron Atia who has 20 years’ experience and who also offers treatment for facial veins. Our Brisbane and Gold Coast Vein Specialists have undergone extensive medical training into a wide range of vein treatments and are highly experienced in performing each procedure.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that conduct blood in the opposite way (retrograde) to what they are supposed to and often have an unpleasant appearance. Varicose veins and spider veins are a common vascular problem. A lot of people experience problems with varicose veins on their legs especially in the thigh, calf, and ankle areas. In addition to being cosmetically unsightly, varicose veins my cause pain, stinginess, restless legs and swelling which is frequently accompanied by increasing ache while standing.
Varicose veins are caused by damaged internal valves. These weak veins allow blood to travel in the wrong direction and away from the heart. In turn this causes strong, healthy veins to take on more of the work and pump more blood towards the heart. Because these healthy veins are working much harder they may in turn become damaged – thus compounding the problem. Surface veins are smaller veins which share similar pathology. Their valves are damaged thus further facilitating retrograde blood flow which results in enlargement, engorgement and at times, stinginess.
Varicose veins may be asymptomatic however, in some patients, they can cause other problems such as bleeding veins, pigmentation and ulceration
Varicose veins occur in the venous segment called the Superficial Venous System (as opposed to the Deep Venous System which cannot be treated). Luckily, there are many collateral (“Alternative” routes) veins that can and do direct the venous blood in the right way – that is, towards the heart. This means, varicose veins can be removed, or ablated, without serious harm. Essentially, all treatments are directed towards destruction of the dysfunctional veins. These treatments can be done via Endothermal Ablation
( Radiofrequency Ablation and LASER), VenaSeal (vein Glue), Ultrasound guided Sclerotherapy or in some instances via ligation and stripping if the anatomy is unsuitable for the former treatment methods.
Our highly qualified Vein Treatment Doctors offer three different non-surgical treatments for varicose veins. Some of these treatments can treat facial veins and spider veins.
This is a common treatment for varicose veins, and involves an injection of sclerosant solution into the problem veins which causes damage to the internal surfaces and ultimate ablation of the lumen as the vein walls stick to each other. This will make the outwards appearance of the vein fade. Several veins can be treated at once so this treatment is fast and effective.
Patients may need a few sessions to achieve optimal results. The fading process will be gradual but most patients can expect overwhelmingly substantial improvement after a few sessions.
Sclerotherapy can cause some discomfort during the recovery period. A compression stocking must also be worn for the first week or two after treatment.
SmartClinics Vein Doctors in George Street (Brisbane) and Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast will advise if this sclerotherapy is best for you.
Endothermal Ablation with laser or Radiofrequency Ablation
Endovenous treatment is a minimally invasive treatment commonly used on varicose veins. Varicose veins have to be examined for the size and shape to determine whether they will be suitable for endovenous treatment.
In the case of the laser, a fiberoptic wire which transmit the laser light to the inside of the vein is inserted under ultrasound imaging and sterile technique. The laser light is then transmitted through this optic fibre and is absorbed by water or the walls of the treated vein thus causing an the production of heat which irreversibly damage the vessel
Radiofrequency ablation is similar to the laser method except that the energy directed through the conductive endovenous catheter is in the radio frequency range and not in the light range as is the case with laser.
The end result of endovenous treatment is destruction of the offending vessel and redirection of blood to the healthier veins.
This treatment is usually done under local anesthesia and the associated discomfort is usually minimal. You may wish to take pain killers after the procedure to reduce any discomfort. Patients can return to normal activities immediately post procedure.
VenaSeal (Vein Glue)
Venaseal is used to block off the varicose vein by injecting an adhesive material into the vein. The results of this treatment are very promising. It is performed using an Ultrasound and small puncture hole to introduce the catheter. It is painless.
Laser Treatment for spider veins (Only available at Burleigh Heads)
Laser treatment is best used for fast and effective removal of small veins. Lasers (and less commonly, intense pulsed light ( IPL) sources are now playing an increasingly important role in the clinical setting as more patients seek treatment for lower extremity veins.
The laser works by transmitting high energy light at a specific wavelength through the skin. The veins or their content absorb the light and the energy changes from electromagnetic to thermal in this process. The heat then damages the vessel walls making these veins useless to the circulatory system. The body cannot repair these veins, and eventually are absorbed then disappear.
To achieve the best results, one to three sessions is usually required to get rid of these veins. The number of sessions depends on how your body and skin react to the laser. Session times vary depending on the scope of the treatment.
Recurrence of Veins
Recurrence of varicose veins can occur in a minority of patients, however there are a few things you can do to help prevent reoccurrence and manage your vein health.
- Maintaining your general health through regular exercise and a healthy diet. Consult your SmartClinics doctor and they can help you plan out a healthy lifestyle.
- Wearing compression stockings. These stockings encourage blood flow in the correct direction.
- When you’re having a rest, and sitting down elevate your legs. This also encourages blood flow.
Vein Treatment Costs
Vein treatment prices vary depending on the scope of the treatment. For medically indicated treatments there are some Medicare rebates. Please contact SmartClinics Medical Centres in Windsor, George Street (Brisbane) by calling (07) 3236 2559 or Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) on (07) 5535 5170 for a breakdown of costs.