By Joseph Magnant, MD, FACS, RPVI
There are many different presentations of leg vein problems although the most recognizable is that of varicose veins.
Other signs and symptoms of venous reflux disease (also known as venous insufficiency, CVI, venous incompetence or leaky veins) include swollen, achy legs, restless legs, night time leg cramps and urination, varicose veins, skin discoloration in the lower legs, and bleeding or ulcerations in the legs. Venous insufficiency is defined as failure of the valves in the veins to close tightly resulting in the backward flow of blood back down toward the feet. The end result is increased pressure in the veins in the lower legs and feet which causes water and protein to leak out into the surrounding tissues.
Over the past decade, our anatomic and physiologic understanding of venous insufficiency has been greatly improved as endovenous ablation (sealing of the veins) has been applied to patients with more obscure signs and advanced stages of venous insufficiency with excellent results. Superficial veins other than the great saphenous vein, such as the small saphenous vein, intersaphenous vein, anterior accessory saphenous vein and perforating veins are now treatable with endovenous ablation. Modern ultrasound evaluation of the lower extremity venous system by experienced vascular sonographers can accurately identify which veins are insufficient or leaking as well as the severity of the leak.
Ultrasound directed sealing of the abnormal veins under local anesthesia has yielded far superior results than vein ligation or stripping, which are no longer required nor should ever be considered. With the introduction of minimally invasive treatments for venous insufficiency in 2000, and the increased acceptance and application of this technology of sealing rather than stripping of the saphenous veins there is no need for patients to suffer from their symptoms related to venous disease any longer.
Patients likely to have venous insufficiency are those who have a family history of varicose veins, swollen legs or other signs of vein disease. Other risk factors for developing venous insufficiency are a history of pregnancy, obesity, sedentary occupations, advanced age, female gender and history of deep vein thrombosis or DVT. Patients may have varicose veins or other signs such as skin discoloration, brawny and thickened skin, diffuse spider veins in the lower leg and ankle regions, open or non-healing ulcerations or wounds, history of bleeding from veins, or swelling in the legs that is worse at the end of the day and improved with elevation.
The following are the top 6 reasons patients should consider moving forward this fall and getting their leg vein problems treated.
1. Most insurance will cover your endovenous ablation. Vein Specialists will verify coverage prior to any procedures.
2. The snow birds have not taken over the roads and doctors’ waiting rooms…yet.
3. You have met your deductible for 2017 and have been meaning to have your legs evaluated.
4. The weather has finally cooled off and compression hose are more tolerable after your vein treatments.
5. You vowed that last summer was the LAST summer you were going to wear long pants to the beach to cover your legs.
6. You want to get your legs ready for that Christmas or New Year’s cruise (have to plan ahead!)
Endovenous ablation or sealing of the leaking veins with catheters (laser or radiofrequency) offers a very safe, effective and minimally invasive option for patients once thought to be untreatable due to age, illness, or venous symptoms that were once thought not to be severe enough to subject the patient to stripping. Ultrasound evaluation for venous insufficiency is safe, effective, and offers a tremendous amount of physiologic and anatomic information which is critical in the decision making process.
Vein Specialists is seeing record numbers of patients with the diagnosis of venous insufficiency, many of whom have obvious signs of venous disease such as leg swelling, skin changes, varicose veins or ulcerations as well as others who may not have obvious external signs of disease but who have severe venous reflux disease as the root cause of their symptoms. Since venous disease affects one out of five adults in the USA, it makes perfect sense to consider venous disease early in the course of your search for the cause of your leg symptoms.
If you or a loved one has signs or symptoms of venous insufficiency such as varicose or spider veins, leg swelling, fatigue, achiness, cramps or restless legs, please consider visiting our website at Weknowveins.com for more information. Dr. Nero and I see patients along with our highly trained nurse practitioners in both our Fort Myers and Bonita Springs/ Naples locations daily so call (239) 694-8346 for an appointment today.
Leaders in Vein Treatment
Joseph G. Magnant, MD, FACS, RPVI and Patrick A. Nero, MD, FACS, RPVI are both fellows of the American College of Surgeons and are board certified by the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. Magnant earned his medical degree from Medical College of Virginia. He completed a general surgery residency at Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and a fellowship in vascular surgery at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. Dr. Magnant of Vein Specialists focuses exclusively on vein evaluation and modern treatments in a dedicated, outpatient, vein-centered facility. Dr. Magnant is an active member of the American College of Phlebology, Society for Vascular Surgery and Society of Vascular Ultrasound.
Dr. Nero earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Medicine from the University of Dayton in Ohio and his medical degree summa cum laude from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery through the Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency program. Dr. Nero is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and a member of the American College of Phlebology and the Society for Vascular US. He joined Dr. Magnant and staff at Vein Specialists earlier in 2016.
They can be contact either by calling 239-694-8346 or through the website, www.weknowveins.com, where patients can submit their request for an appointment.