Does the look of twisted varicose veins make you want to keep your legs covered all summer long? You’re not alone. An extremely common condition, it is estimated that one out of every five adults has varicose veins. While they can cause mild to moderate pain, they usually produce few symptoms. Nevertheless, these bumpy purple veins can be embarrassing.
Thankfully, it is possible for patients in Northern Virginia to eliminate the appearance of varicose veins, as well as spindly spider veins, with procedures that are expertly performed by double board-certified plastic and general surgeon Dr. Timothy Mountcastle, founder of Mountcastle Vein Clinic in Ashburn, VA. Read on to learn more about options that are available at this state-of-the-art vein treatment center.
What causes varicose veins?
Veins are blood vessels that feature one-way valves to keep the blood they transport from tissues throughout the body flowing toward the heart. However, if these valves become weakened or damaged, blood may pool in the veins causing them to swell. This results in the appearance of varicose veins.
Numerous factors can raise the risk for men and women in Northern Virginia to experience varicose veins, including age, obesity, a lack of movement, trauma to the legs, pregnancy, or a family history of the condition. Varicose veins rarely cause serious health concerns and usually are merely considered a bothersome cosmetic issue. Some simple lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and increasing physical activity, may improve symptoms and help delay additional varicose veins from developing. However, to eliminate their appearance, other treatments may be necessary. Once removed, varicose and spider veins will not return reappear in treated areas.
At Mountcastle Vein Clinic in Ashburn, VA, there are several treatment options available to address the appearance of varicose and spider veins. These include:
Frequently employed by double board-certified plastic and general surgeon Dr. Timothy Mountcastle, sclerotherapy safely and effectively removes spider and varicose veins. This minimally invasive, outpatient procedure is performed at our Northern Virginia vein treatment center. An FDA-approved, highly concentrated saline solution is injected into the vein with a microneedle. This irritates the vein, causing it to scar and eventually collapse. Once blood flow is rerouted to other nearby veins, those treated with sclerotherapy are eventually reabsorbed by the body and typically vanish from sight within 3-6 weeks of treatment.
Sclerotherapy also works to address the swelling, aching, and leg cramps that often are associated with varicose and spider veins. Sclerotherapy treatments usually can be completed in less than an hour and most patients typically can resume their normal daily activities immediately afterward. Depending on the number of veins and areas that are treated, some patients may require additional sclerotherapy treatments to experience optimal results.
Also effective for eliminating spider veins, the FDA approved VeinwaveTM system utilizes thermocoagulation. Carefully controlled microwave energy is delivered to the surface of individual veins through an ultrafine, insulated needle. This causes the walls to collapse and the vein to die. Veinwave is especially effective for treating extremely thin veins that are too small to be addressed by sclerotherapy. Most Veinwave sessions last about 20 minutes. The majority of Northern Virginia patients report experiencing only mild discomfort during treatment and most can resume their regular activities immediately following the procedure. Most patients require 3-5 Veinwave treatments to achieve the results they desire.
Also called ambulatory phlebectomy, this outpatient procedure works to remove medium-to-large varicose veins that bulge just below the skin’s surface. Small sections of varicose veins can be removed through tiny incisions (usually less than one-quarter of an inch long) that are made in the skin. The number of incisions made is determined by the size of the area being treated. Once removed by Dr. Mountcastle, the painful, unsightly vein is eliminated. Its blood flow is redirected to another vein located deeper in the leg. This often results in more efficient and improved blood flow overall.
Most microphlebectomy procedures can be completed at our Northern Virginia vein treatment center in less than an hour. The majority of patients can resume their daily activities 24 hours later. Following the treatment, patients must wear a compression bandage for up 72 hours. It is not unusual to experience some mild pain and bruising related to the procedure, which should resolve itself. However, any pain that was associated with the varicose veins should be immediately relieved. As bulges in the treated areas subside, the legs should appear visibly smoother.
This minimally invasive treatment offers an alternative to traditional vein stripping surgery, and usually results in less pain and bruising. It is ideal for those who struggle with varicose veins and painful, swollen, heavy legs as well as those whose legs are restless and tired. During a traditional vein stripping procedure, which usually is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room, an incision is made in the groin and the vein is tied off before being removed from the leg through a secondary incision near the calf.
A VNUS Closure is performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at Mountcastle Vein Clinic. The vein remains in place and it is accessed by Dr. Mountcastle through a small puncture. A specially designed catheter is inserted, and radiofrequency energy is delivered. This heat effectively causes the vein walls to collapse and close shut. Most VNUS Closure procedures are completed within five minutes, although patients typically remain at our Northern Virginia vein treatment center for about a half-hour. Following treatment, blood flow is redirected to healthy veins as the closed vein slowly incorporates into the surrounding tissue. Most patients experience little pain, bruising or swelling as a result of their procedure and can resume their regular activities immediately afterward. The majority report a noticeable improvement of their symptoms within a week or two as normal return blood flow is re-established.
Don’t allow painful and unsightly varicose and spider veins keep you from looking and feeling your best. Treatment options are available to address these common conditions. Schedule an appointment with double board-certified plastic and general surgeon Dr. Timothy Mountcastle, founder of Mountcastle Vein Clinic in Ashburn, VA to learn more.