(02/15/13) - There is a less painful way to get rid of varicose veins. This new
treatment also has a much easier recovery process than traditional surgery.
For a lot of people, varicose veins are a cosmetic concern, but they can also lead to or be linked to more dangerous health issues, like circulation problems and blood clots.
They are a problem for about 25 percent of women, and around 10 percent of men.
Varicose veins can be ugly, painful, or both.
"It does run in my family," says Linda Grim.
For 12 years, Linda had persistent swelling and was on her way to developing the inherited problem. "At one point, my right foot had at least a full shoe size different than my left foot."
Methodist Hospital's Dr. Eric Peden says a minimally invasive ablation procedure is becoming the new standard varicose vein treatment for many doctors, "for me, this is my preferred treatment."
It is the Vena-cure 14-70. A small catheter is run inside the vein and burns the vein walls, causing it to collapse and vanish.
Dr. Peden says there are similar catheter procedures, but with Vena-cure, "the tip is covered so it doesn't stick to the vein wall. It should lead to less damage to the surrounding tissues, which means less discomfort for her afterwards, and less bruising."
Linda hopes the 25-minute treatment cures her constant swelling. In the meantime, she is walking out of the doctor's office pain-free and varicose vein free, "I don't really feel any pain right now."
Dr. Peden says just about everyone with varicose veins can be treated with it. He says the procedure is sometimes covered by insurance, depending on a patient's symptoms and whether they have responded to other treatments.
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