Vein Stripping is now a thing of the past
A number of years ago, the only way to treat varicose veins was with “Vein Stripping.” This was a very invasive surgical procedure which required a general anesthetic in the operating room at a hospital. Patients had major incisions in their groins and along their legs to reach the veins, which were then stripped out. The incisions had to be closed with stitches. If they patient did not stay in the hospital, they had to go home in a wheel chair until they recovered due to the early pain and recovery from the general anesthetic. Most patients had to take a few weeks off work, and wound complications were not uncommon. This was the standard of care until the early 2,000s.
No down-time solutions for varicose veins
Now varicose veins can be treated in the office setting using a local anesthetic in a no downtime, minimally invasive fashion. Patients walk in, have the quick outpatient procedure, and walk out. This can usually be done with the patient in and out of the office in less than an hour. Sometimes there is only a small band-aid on the calf. Other times the patient wears a compression stocking home that night. While most patients take it easy that night, by the next day the patient can usually return to normal activities. There are no big incisions and no stitches.
What makes the new techniques different is that they are endovenous. This comes from Endo (meaning inside), and venous (meaning vein). In this case, endovenous means treating the inside of the vein with heat, an adhesive, or an FDA approved medication that causes the vein to shrivel up and fade away over time. Thus the vein is not ‘stripped out”…or removed. It is treated in an endovenous fashion that makes it shrivel up and fade away. These approaches, that include Closurefast RFA, Venaseal and Varithena, are usually covered by insurance when indicated. We pioneered these techniques in Oregon, and have one of the largest combined experiences with these minimally invasive vein treatment approaches in the pacific Northwest.
What makes these procedures different from the old days is that they require little if any anesthetic. And the anesthetic that is required, is just a local anesthetic. With Closurefast RFA, a tumescent anesthetic technique is used. This is because Closurefast RFA uses a gentle heating of the inside of the vein. Thus its a thermal techniques. However, with Venaseal and Varithena, no tumescent anesthetic is needed. These are the so called non thermal/non tumescent, or NTNT, techniques.
There have been numerous clinical trials comparing the various stripping techniques with the newer endovenous techniques. In nearly all studies, the results are the same or better with the newer endovenous techniques. Thus given the newer endovenous techniques are less invasive, less painful, have fewer complications are therefore less costly for the patients, these techniques have become an increasingly popular options for patients with varicose veins seeking treatment in the last 15 years.
Call for a Free Screening
Not sure if this is right for you? We offer an educational free screening in some circumstances to help patients better understand their options.
Oregon’s leading vein care specialists
At Inovia Vein Specialty Centers we specialize in caring for patients with venous disorders such as varicose veins, deep venous thrombosis, and venous stasis ulcers and can help you find what treatment options are best for you. Founded in 2006, we are currently scheduling patients at our clinic in Bridgeport Village center in Portland, Oregon (for Oregon patients from Tigard, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Sherwood, Tualatin, Wilsonville, Clackamas, Sunnyside, and Milwaukie). In addition we can see patients at the Center next to St. Charles Medical Center (which serves Oregon patients from Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras, La Pine, Baker City, Burns, and John Day). We are also scheduling patients for our newest clinic in NW Portland, Oregon, starting in April, 2019.