Are you concerned about your varicose or spider veins? At SmartClinics Medical Centre in Brisbane City we offer proven medical treatments to help patients with varicose and spider veins. These treatments are currently available by Dr Hugh Wall. Dr Wall has undergone extensive medical training into a wide range of vein treatments and is 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.
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.
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.
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 Centre at George Street (Brisbane) by calling (07) 3236 2559