Approximately 1 in 4 adults suffer from varicose veins, the bulging, twisted veins that appear on the thighs, calves and feet. Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and unsightly, not to mention the burning, throbbing, cramping and swelling that many patients also experience.
Fortunately, the Venefit procedure is the latest development in varicose vein treatment, which can get rid of unpleasant veins with minimal discomfort and recovery time.
Find out more about the benefits of the Venefit procedure and how it can end your varicose vein and leg discomfort for good in today’s blog.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
In most cases, varicose veins are related to chronic venous insufficiency. This is typically associated with inability of the once normal valves to close properly. Incompetent valves in the superficial veins allow backwards flow or reflux to occur. Varicose veins can occur from long periods of time on your feet, but genetics and aging also play a role in their development. When the veins weaken, refluxing blood pools in the veins, causing them to bulge and turn a purplish-blue color.
In severe cases, chronic venous insufficiency can cause significant complications, such as leg ulcers.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that commonly appear on the lower body. Though many people think of varicose veins as only a cosmetic issue, varicose veins can cause considerable discomfort for sufferers, and may even indicate a higher risk of vascular problems.
Common symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Veins that are dark purple or blue
- Veins that appear twisted or bulged
- Bleeding veins
- Color changes or inflammation of the surrounding skin. This is often mistaken by patients and even health care providers as cellulitis.
- Throbbing, aching and burning vein and limb pain
- Dryness and itching legs
- Swelling of the feet and legs
- Muscle fatigue and weakness
- Muscle cramping
- Restless leg syndrome
Though rare, there are some serious complications associated with varicose veins:
- Ulcers: Because of long-term buildup and stagnation of blood in the varicose veins extremely painful ulcers can form close to the vein, particularly on the ankle.
- Blood clots: The varicose veins on the surface are painful and unsightly, but varicose veins can form deeper within the leg as well. When this happens, the severe swelling within the leg, which can lead to a potentially-fatal blood clot called a Deep Vein Thrombosis..
- Bleeding: Minor bleeding with varicose veins is common, but occasionally, these veins can swell and burst, leading to significant bleeding that requires medical attention.
Some of the symptoms of varicose veins can be relieved with self-care, such as exercise or compression stockings, but severe cases require medical interventions, such as Venefit.
Though they’re often regarded as similar conditions, varicose veins and spider veins are quite different. They frequently occur due to the same underlying problem, superficial venous reflux. However, spider veins are indeed purely cosmetic and can’t be treated directly with Venefit. It’s also important to note that Venefit is used as a medically-necessary treatment for the discomfort, pain and complications of varicose veins, and not purely as a cosmetic treatment, though one benefit of Venefit is an improvement in the appearance of the area.
What is Venefit?
The Venefit procedure is a minimally-invasive treatment option for varicose veins that uses endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) technology.
RFA is used in many areas of medicine. RFA converts an electrical current to create heat. When this is focused to heat a small area of tissue, radio frequency can reduce pain signals. Thus radiofrequency is commonly used to relieve chronic pain in the back, neck and joints.
Venefit allows the RF to be delivered directly inside the problematic veins. Venefit’s endovenous RFA mechanism is used to heat and seal superficial veins such as the great saphenous, accessory saphenous, and small saphenous veins. Venefit RF may also be applied to perforator veins. These veins are found slightly deeper in the leg, perforating the fascia of the leg to carry blood from the superficial system to the deep system of veins. Sealing or ablating problematic perforator veins is often necessary to address the underlying cause of varicose veins.
Venefit collapses the sources of venous reflux, with an RFA catheter, which seals the vein shut and redirects the blood flow to the healthier, surrounding veins. Over time, the ablated varicose vein becomes scar tissue and is readily absorbed into the body, leaving no trace behind.
During this procedure, a surgeon at a licensed vein clinic uses local anesthesia on the area to be treated, then inserts an IV, typically below the knee. The entire procedure is guided by ultrasound imaging. A small diameter RFA catheter is inserted through the IV Access point into the desired vein to deliver the radiofrequency energy that heats the wall of the vein, causing it to contract and seal shut. Typically three days later, a followup ultrasound is performed to ensure that the treated vein is completely closed.
Unlike other procedures, Venefit RFA catheters deliver consistent, uniform heat to the desired location. This minimizes bruising and provides rapid pain relief. Patients are usually able to return to normal activity much faster than other varicose vein treatments, and experience rapid improvements to quality of life with less pain and discomfort. MOst patients return to work the same day or the next day.
Benefits of Venefit
A revolution in the treatment of varicose veins, Venefit has many benefits over similar procedures, such as:
- Elimination of varicose veins: Unlike other procedures, the Venefit procedure can effectively eliminate varicose veins by sealing them off.
- Minimally invasive: Previous treatment options for varicose veins used vein stripping, a painful procedure that involves pulling the vein out from under the skin with a surgical procedure.
- Redirected blood flow: Another benefit of Venefit is that, since the varicose vein is sealed, the blood in the affected vein is safely rerouted to healthy veins.
- No general anesthetic: Venefit uses only local anesthesia and can be completed in 20 to 30 minutes, which dramatically reduces the risks and recovery time.
- No downtime: Venefit patients are usually able to return to their normal activity level 24 hours after the procedure.
Furthermore, Venefit and the use of Radiofrequency for vein ablation, should NOT be confused with the use of Lasers for vein treatment. Laser procedures are often called Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT). While the procedure may look similar, using IV access to pass a Laser fiber, the VENEFIT RFA procedure has been shown over the past 25 years to be safer than Laser, more effective than Laser, and does not create pain as is so commonly associated with EVLT treatments.
Discover Venefit at Vegas Valley Vein Institute
If you’re looking for relief from the discomfort and pain of varicose veins, Venefit is the right choice for you. If your desire is to improve the visual look of your legs, Venefit is the right choice for you. This minimally-invasive, convenient procedure is one of the latest treatments for varicose veins performed by Dr. Simon and the team at Vegas Valley Vein Institute. Schedule your consultative appointment to be evaluated today!