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Doctor Injects A Liquid Or Foam Solution Into The Damaged Vein

Mar 22

Damaged veins aren’t indestructible, and left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. Interventional radiologist Center For Advanced Vein Care explains how to recognize the seven signs of vein damage, so you can get treatment when needed.

Symptoms of damaged veins in legs include aching, throbbing or heaviness in the legs. They may feel better when you elevate your legs or wear compression stockings. They can also be relieved with a mild pain reliever like acetaminophen or aspirin. These self-care approaches won’t heal your varicose or spider veins, however, and don’t treat underlying conditions that can lead to complications.

The problem occurs when the walls of your veins become stretched and less flexible than they should be. This causes the valves that keep blood flowing in one direction to weaken, allowing it to leak backward and pool in the vein. Over time, this pressure can make the walls swell and twist. The veins farthest from your heart, such as those in the legs, are most often affected. Health experts aren’t sure why this happens, but there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of getting varicose and spider veins. These include being a woman, taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, being overweight or clinically obese, having a family history of varicose and spider veins and aging.

Changing your lifestyle habits can improve your symptoms, and there are noninvasive treatments that can help repair your veins. Keeping your feet raised when sitting or standing for long periods of time, wearing compression stockings, losing weight and exercising regularly (especially brisk walking) can all help. Your doctor can recommend medications that will help with symptoms and prevent them from recurring.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, you can have a minimally invasive procedure to correct the condition. During phlebectomy, your doctor removes your damaged vein through small punctures in the skin that don’t require stitches. Your doctor injects a local anesthetic into the skin over your vein and then makes a tiny puncture in the vein. A thin metal hook is then inserted and pulled out of the vein. After the damaged vein is removed, your body naturally reabsorbs it and blood is rerouted to healthy veins.

Another treatment option is sclerotherapy. During this procedure, your doctor injects a liquid or foam solution into the damaged vein. This irritates the vein wall, causing it to swell shut and eventually disappear. The procedure can be done in your doctor’s office and doesn’t require anesthesia. It is primarily used for smaller varicose and spider veins that are too small or twisted to be treated with a catheter.

The most severe and painful vein condition is called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. It can be caused by a blood clot in your leg (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or by varicose and spider veins. The pain you experience in your legs with CVI can be severe, and it can also lead to sores that can't heal or ulcers.