Summer’s coming and you’ve been looking at those twisting, bulging veins on your leg – that could mean no shorts in your future. Or maybe it’s that dark purple cluster of small veins on your ankle or behind the knee. While neither of these conditions is life-threatening, they could be an indication that it’s time to head to your local vein clinic. Here’s how a vein clinic can help you, courtesy of Dr. Gamal Wazni at United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.
What’s a Vein Clinic?
A vein clinic is a step up from the average doctor’s office. In some ways it’s more like an outpatient diagnostic and treatment center, with the focus on vein disease and related problems. Most vein clinics offer services to help diagnose varicose veins or other vein problems like phlebitis, such as a duplex ultrasound or other diagnostic tests. In addition, you can receive what is known as non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. You don’t need to go to a hospital and the procedures are typically performed in an hour or two, after which you can go straight home.
What Conditions are Treated in a Vein Clinic?
Varicose veins and spider veins are the two conditions most often treated in a vein clinic. Actually both are the same thing; spider veins are just much smaller and can occur in places other than the legs. Both result from a failure of tiny flaps of tissue in the vein called valves. This allows blood to flow backward and pool in the vein. In most cases, neither condition causes distressing symptoms, but they do affect your appearance (especially when spider veins occur on the face) and many people seek treatment for that reason. Varicose veins may also cause symptoms like burning, itching or pain in the legs, which is another reason people seek treatment.
What Treatments are Available?
Vein clinics differ as to what services they offer. However, most provide sclerotherapy and laser treatments. Sclerotherapy is the injection of a special solution or foam into a varicose or spider vein. The solution is very irritating to the vein wall, and in response, the vein swells and then collapses. Pressure is applied with a bandage or special elastic stockings to help the vein scar closed. Laser treatments also irritate the vein, but with special high-energy heat. The beams are transmitted to the vein through the skin, so no incisions are necessary. Ambulatory phlebectomy is used to remove large varicose veins through tiny incisions in the skin. Local anesthesia is all that’s necessary for these procedures and most people resume normal activities (except for strenuous exercise) the next day.
Whatever your vein problems, a vein clinic is an excellent place to get the correct diagnosis and have them treated. These procedures don’t take much time and you can get everything you need at United Vein Center. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.