When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.
If you have visible varicose veins and have been putting off treatment because it sounded too unpleasant, then you're in luck. The old technique that might have been used on your parents or grandparents – threading a metal rod through the vein to be removed and using it to pull the vein out through an incision – is just that: old. Today, there are many alternatives, both easier and less invasive, for varicose vein removal.
In this procedure, a thin catheter is inserted into the problem vein and a fluid anesthetic is injected along the length of the vein. This catheter gives off radio waves, heating the inside of the vein and causing the tough walls to weaken and collapse. While the idea of heating the vein this way might sound painful, the anesthetic fluid around the vein works not just to block pain but also to absorb any extra heat. Once the vein is collapsed and the catheter removed, the vein is naturally absorbed by the body over a period of weeks; generally, patients can go home the same day as the procedure.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
This procedure is very similar to radiofrequency ablation; however, instead of a catheter that gives off radio waves, an optical fiber is inserted into the vein. This fiber then emits concentrated laser light, causing the vein to collapse. As with radiofrequency ablation, this is an outpatient procedure, but the vein itself will take time to reabsorb and disappear.
If even inserting a catheter into the vein sounds too invasive, sclerotherapy is a completely non-surgical treatment in which a type of medicine called a sclerosant is injected into the vein in order to seal it. Sclerosants irritate the veins into forming small, harmless clots, which harden into scar tissue and seal off the vein. This is most useful for smaller veins – the smaller the blood clot, the more likely it is to harden into scar tissue – but larger veins may also be treated by using foam sclerotherapy. Once the vein is sealed off, it will be absorbed by the body over time.
For this treatment, a series of very small incisions are made along the length of the vein or veins to be removed. Under a local anesthetic, the veins are then removed through these slits. While this technique has been around for a while and is slightly more invasive than using a sclerosant, radio waves or lasers, it is still an outpatient procedure, and it has some advantages. Unlike the previously mentioned methods, there's no waiting for the vein to be absorbed – it's gone immediately. And it works particularly well for veins near the surface of the skin; it may even be used in conjunction with other methods for deeper problem veins.
For more information, contact a specialist like Alaska Vein Care.Share
10 February 2015