Varicose Veins

With over 80 million Americans suffering from venous conditions, the treatment of varicose veins is an important procedure, both for pain relief, prevention of more serious conditions and aesthetic improvement. Some of the signs of venous problems include:

  • Appearance of blue or purple spider vein configurations under the skin
  • Raised outline of overly curved veins visible under the skin
  • Dramatic skin color changes
  • Tired legs
  • Heavy legs
  • Itching or burning
  • Nighttime cramping
  • Swelling
  • Who should undergo varicose vein procedures?

    Patients who are experiencing any of the above symptoms should schedule a consultation to determine whether they are suffering from varicose veins or venous ulcerations. The first treatment step is often compression therapy, in which a pressure of 35-40 mmHg is applied to prevent capillary exudation. This may take around 5 months, but if there has not been a noticeable improvement in 3 months, you may be a candidate for various varicose vein procedures.

    With a wide range of procedures available, Dr. Ponnuru may have you take an ultrasound to help determine which procedure will maximize effectiveness while limiting expense and recovery time for your condition.

    What happens during the procedures?

    Oral pain medication and local anesthetic may be given for some patients prior to the procedures. Varicose veins will be clearly marked while the patient is in a standing position to ensure no veins are missed. For endovenous laser treatment of varicose veins, a small incision is made near the bottom of the affected vein. A fiber-optic laser is inserted into the vein and passed through as far as possible. Laser energy is activated, causing the vein to collapse as the laser is withdrawn slowly, leaving just harmless fibrous tissue, which will soon be absorbed.

    Other methods of varicose vein treatment include the surgical removal of the veins. For this procedure, commonly used on smaller lower leg veins, a hook is inserted through a small incision made over an affected vein. The vein is caught with the hook and withdrawn through the incision, though it may need to be segmented surgically prior to extraction. Another method of varicose vein removal is the injection of a foam within the veins, which causes them to contract until they are eventually absorbed by the body. Learn about sclerotherapy.

    What should I expect after the procedures?

    Once the procedure has finished, the leg will be wrapped to minimize swelling, and there will be a 20-30 minute recovery period. After this it is possible to return home and resume activities as comfortable. In 48 hours, the recovery wrap should be removed and the leg placed within a compression stocking, which should remain around the leg for 3 weeks.

    Depending on the specifics of the venous condition and the treatment performed, it may be necessary to return for additional treatments in 1 week. Additionally, there will be a follow-up visit and an ultrasound to ensure things are healing normally, the veins are closed and the symptoms are improved.

    Some complications that may occur during varicose vein treatment include brown discolorations, skin burns, infection, blood clots and changes in sensitivity.

    Schedule an appointment for varicose vein treatment

    If you have unsightly or uncomfortable veins in your legs, or suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, please contact our Kansas City plastic surgery office to set up a consultation. During the consultation, Dr. Ponnuru will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about your personal treatment.