Varicose Veins Treatment in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Prattville, Cullman, and Oxford AL
Varicose veins are large, ropy, and twisting blue vessels which appear in the skin anywhere from the thigh to the foot. They are most often the result of leaking and incompetent valves in the superficial saphenous veins.
These abnormal valves allow blood to flow retrograde back down the legs and into all of the skin veins. The repeated reflux causes high vein pressures, resulting in veins which enlarge and twist over time. Leg pain associated with varicose veins is usually due to swelling of the veins and of the surrounding tissues.
Phlebitis develops when one or more of these veins develop a blood clot, usually when the patient is inactive. A painful and red lump where varicose veins are located is nearly always a sign of phlebitis.
Diagnosis of vein abnormalities can be difficult and requires special expertise. A well-trained vascular ultrasonographer must perform the diagnostic ultrasound evaluation of every major leg vein in our patients. Our sonographers have many years of experience and are able to identify the cause of vein incompetence in all of our patients. Our doctors perform the physical examinations, and then correlate symptoms, physical examination findings, and the ultrasound analysis to make the proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
The treatments to eliminate varicose veins and all vein abnormalities have improved dramatically in the past 10 years. The abnormal saphenous vein, which causes most of the difficulties, is eliminated by modern laser methods. Dr. Kingsley researched and tried many lasers, and determined that the CoolTouch 1320nm YAG laser gives the very best results with the least amount of associated pain. These modern methods have proven far superior to the old stripping and ligation operations, and represent some of the greatest advances in blood vessel diagnosis and treatment in the past 30 to 40 years per Dr. Kingsley assessment.
Endovenous laser ablation
Endovenous laser ablation is performed by placing a laser fiber inside the abnormal saphenous vein. As energy is applied, the heat destroys the vein lining, causing the vein to shrink and scar to a small cord. Blood flow through the abnormal vein is halted almost instantly at the time of treatment, and the skin vein blood flow is diverted to the deeper and completely normal veins. Vein pressure is relieved in all leg veins, allowing abnormal veins to dry up and preventing future varicosities and other symptoms. We perform these procedures with our patients sedated so that very little pain is associated with our operations. Our surgeons perform the endovenous ablation operations an average of 50 times each week, and have one of the largest experiences with this procedure in the U.S. Our surgical team has performed over 13,000 such procedures, and helped pioneer some of this modern technology.
Microphlebectomy and Sclerotherapy
Other treatments include micro-phlebectomy to remove the large and bulging varicosities, and sclerotherapy to eliminate the smaller veins including the unsightly spider veins. Both techniques were invented in Europe, and were adopted several years ago by our physicians. Sylvia Tadros, PA-C, our physician’s assistant, helped Dr. Kingsley develop a special combination sclerosant solution which works remarkably well to eliminate all of the smaller veins. Our approach is to provide all treatments at the same time as we perform the ablation operation. Since our patients are sedated, they have very little pain during the added treatments. This also gives our patients the very best results in the least amount of time.
The Veinwave is a revolutionary device used primarily for the treatment of small veins of the face, ears, and nose. The device can also be used for very small red colored spider veins of the legs. Based upon a brief pulse of thermal energy, this device works well to compliment the injection sclerotherapy program for treatment of spider veins. Our vein centers in Alabama and Atlanta are both equipped with the Veinwave instrument technology.
What are the long term results?
Our patients are some of the most grateful patients we have ever treated. Leg pain is relieved, leg swelling often goes away within a couple of months, most of the ulcers heal within a few months, and the unsightly veins disappear. Many of our patients wear shorts after years of hiding their legs. Quality of life is significantly improved in most of our patients, for they can again become active. Even work is easier and more productive. Veins do have a reputation to re-occur after a year or more. We follow our patients indefinitely if they wish, and most recurrent veins can be treated with simple injections. However, we are amazed at how well these modern treatments last. More than 2000 patients were followed for one year and many for longer. More than 99% were found to have success of treatment both with sustained elimination of the bad veins and relief from all symptoms.
What are the advantages of the new procedures?
The endovenous ablation operations and the adjuvant treatments are far less traumatic. There is very little associated pain, and many of our patients return to work within a few days. The treatments are also far more accurate than any other methods, for ultrasound allows our determination of the exact problem. We are able to select and eliminate all abnormal veins, and spare the normal veins. Vein flow and physiology are returned to near normal in our patients. Leg pain disappears as do many other symptoms, and of course the cosmetic change to a more normal appearance is often dramatic. All procedures can be performed in our Vein Center, hospitalization is unnecessary. Equally important, medicare and all insurance companies pay for these procedures, with exception of the spider vein treatments.
Varicose Veins in Alabama
For more information about your options with varicose veins in Birmingham, contact Alabama Vascular & Vein Center at 877.268.Vein or email us to schedule a consultation.