Advanced Treatment for Varicose Veins & a Variety of Skin Problems
Utilizing our advance VascuLight Intense Pulse Light and Laser System, the Institute can also treat leg and facial elangectasia, spider veins, age spots, sun spots, port wine stains, freckles, rosacea, hemangiomas, birthmarks and multicolored tattoos.
In treating unsightly varicose veins, this system offers an excellent alternative to the needle sting of sclerotherapy.
Vasculight Vein Removal System
Medical studies have documented exceptional results on veins with the VascuLight Laser. VascuLight allows customized treatment of virtually every small vein disorder, including deep veins and veins that did not respond to other treatment methods.
A cold gel is usually applied to the area to be treated, and you may be given dark glasses to protect your eyes from the bright light. The smooth glass surface of the IPL™ hand piece is gently applied to your skin and pulses of light are applied. You may feel a slight sting. An anesthetic cream may be used, but is seldom required. The veins shrink and eventually become invisible over time.
The beauty of this treatment is there is no down time involved. You can resume regular activities immediately following treatment.
The number of treatments may vary, depending on the severity and density of the cosmetic conditions. This will be decided during your free consultation with a treatment doctor.
Veins are the blood vessels responsible for carrying parts of the body. Venous blood receives help in combating the force of gravity from a series of one-way valves, which move the blood through the veins.
The valves function like curved doors, spaced at intervals along the inside wall of the vein. The valves open as blood flows toward the heart and then close to prevent the backward of blood.
When the valves are healthy, or competent, they close tightly. When they are not healthy or incompetent, they do not close completely and blood can then flow backward, pool inside the vein and cause the vein to dilate, meaning it swells or expands abnormally.
This causes tissue congestion and can lead to leg pain, swelling, inflammation and ulcer formation.
Varicose veins can be treated with an ablation procedure that is minimally invasive and requires only local anesthesia. A small catheter with a laser tip is introduced through a needle and passed up the length of the affected vein. The laser is fired several times inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse.
The outpatient laser procedures require only local anesthesia, no hospitalization and a minimal recovery period. Often they can be performed in the doctor’s office. The patient’s legs will be wrapped for 2-3 days and they must wear support hose for a few weeks.
These procedures are extremely safe, have few complications, and are FDA approved.
You hear about them frequently, and even see some of them through your skin. If you have varicose veins, spider veins or other venous disease, you are probably painfully aware of them. But how much do you really know about your veins? Do you know what role they play in your body’s everyday functioning and therefore your health? It is important to know how the veins function to understand how vein disorders occur, are treated, and can be prevented.
Veins are the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood to the heart, from all parts of the body. The blood receives help in combating the force of gravity from a series of one-way valves which move the blood through the veins. The valves function like curved doors, spaced at intervals along the inside wall of the vein. The valves open as blood flows toward the heart and then close to prevent the backward flow of blood. When the valves are healthy (competent), they close tightly.
When they are not healthy, (incompetent) they do not close completely and blood can then flow backward, pool inside the vein and cause the vein to dilate, meaning it swells or expands abnormally. This can lead to painful and sometimes serious medical conditions commonly known as venous disease. Some examples of venous disease are spider veins, varicose veins, venous stasis disease, and thrombophlebitis.
Spider veins are the least serious of the most common vein disorders. Spider veins are essentially smaller versions of varicose veins and are caused by blood pooling in the veins because the valves are not closing completely.
Spider veins commonly appear during and after pregnancy as a small red or purple cluster of veins that are near the skin’s surface. Depending on how large or dark they are, they may appear unattractive but generally do not cause much discomfort.
Varicose veins are stretched, swollen veins that become that way because the valves do not close completely, and a significant amount of blood pools behind the valves. As the amount of pooled blood increases, the walls of the veins weaken.
The dilation or ballooning of the veins can occur anywhere from the ankle to the groin. In addition to being unattractive, the condition that results from the valves functioning improperly and the weakened vein walls can be uncomfortable and even painful.
Venous Stasis Disease
Venous stasis disease occurs when incompetent valves cause blood to pool in the legs. Most chronic venous stasis disease results from lack of treatment or neglect of varicose veins, as well as deep vein thrombosis and/or phlebitis, which causes scarred valves that become incompetent.
Because the valves are destroyed, venous blood pools in the lower third of the leg, which results in very high venous pressure in the ankle. Eventually, this high venous pressure may cause a venous ulcer through the skin.
Thrombophlebitis is an inflammation of the walls of a vein, which often results from a clot in the vein. The clot may partially or completely block the flow of blood. Thrombophlebitis can be caused by injury, stagnation of blood in a vein because of another disease or the blood’s increased tendency to clot. Sluggish blood flow increases the risk of developing Thrombophlebitis because rapidly flowing blood is less likely to clot.
Who suffers from Venous Disease?
Venous disease can affect anyone, but some people are more susceptible to certain types of venous disease. For example, women are three times more likely than men to have spider or varicose veins.
Varicose veins also have a tendency to run in families. Other risk factors for varicose veins include age, obesity, pregnancy (pregnant woman are more likely to develop spider and/or varicose veins) and extreme height. People with jobs that require them to stand for long periods often develop varicose veins as well.
Thrombophlebitis is more likely to occur in people who have had surgery, a baby or a long-standing illness requiring bed rest and inactivity. It is also more common in older people.
Vein problems are often hereditary and may reoccur periodically so it is important not to neglect the early signs of varicose veins, ulcer formation or even troublesome spider veins. Neglect and lack of treatment can lead to long-term disability. In case of varicose veins, the symptoms depend on the size and type of varicose veins in the legs. A feeling of heaviness in the legs is a common early symptom.
Other symptom includes a feeling of fatigue in the leg muscles, aching in the legs, ankle swelling at the end of the day, skin discoloration, tenderness and soreness along the veins and night time leg cramps.
With venous, symptoms occur primarily in the lower leg and can include swelling, tenderness, skin discoloration, dry, scaly, itchy skin, skin ulcers and pain when standing that is relieved with elevation. Thrombophlebitis symptoms vary according to the site and length of the affected vein. Patients may experience swelling, pain, fever, redness and warm skin. Severe obstruction of the vein may cause the skin in the affected area to look blue, and pulling the toes toward the knees may cause calf pain.
Varicose veins, which have several different configurations and venous stasis disease, may be diagnosed by one or more of the following: History and physical exam Inspection of the legs in the standing position, which will show the visible varicose veins Testing of the venous system with venous imaging and venograms (an X-ray study).
With Thrombophlebitis, ultrasound imaging is used to examine blood flow in the veins and can reveal whether the Thrombophlebitis is in a surface or a deep vein. Thrombophlebitis that occurs in a vein near the surface of the skin is usually not dangerous. If the clot is in a deep vein, there is potential risk for it to break loose and travel to the lungs.
Treatment for different types of venous disease, including varicose veins, can range from simple outpatient procedures to surgery depending on the type of disorder and its severity. The purpose of medical treatment is to prevent and treat complications and to relieve pain and discomfort.
Treatment for severe varicose veins used to involve complicated surgical procedures with lengthy recovery times. Fortunately, treatment methods have greatly improved because of laser procedures that eliminate the need for surgery and the long-recovery process. Lasers have been used effectively at treating other forms of vascular disease for years. Now lasers are becoming the treatment of choice for venous disorders, including spider veins and more serious conditions such as venous stasis disease.
The vascular experts use lasers to remove spider veins from the surface of the skin easily with little or no discomfort. For varicose veins, laser ablation can be used during a non-surgical, outpatient procedure. An ablation procedure is minimally invasive and requires only local anesthesia. A small catheter with laser tip is introduced through a needle and passed up the length of the affected vein. The laser is “fired” several times inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse.
These outpatient laser procedures require only local anesthesia, no hospitalization and a minimal recovery period. Often they can be performed in the physician’s office. In the many cases the patient’s activities will not be restricted and recovery time is quick. These procedures are also extremely safe and FDA approved.
Sclerotherapy is a no surgical treatment for varicose veins involving the injection of a sclerosing solution into the veins to close them off completely.
This outpatient procedure uses tiny needles, which cause a pricking sensation. Compression bandages must be worn for specified days after the injections. Several treatment sessions may be required.
Surgical management of varicose veins consists of tying off and removing superficial veins just under the skin, a procedure called vein stripping. Sometimes veins ate tied off without complete removal in a process called ligation.
When the surface veins are removed or tied off, the flow of blood is rerouted to deep veins, which carry the blood from the legs to the heart.
For venous stasis disease, surgical treatment includes removing dead tissue and skin grafting.