Tired, aching legs and unsightly veins can take all the joy out of a walk on the beach or wearing shorts on a beautiful summer day. The good news is there are many options for venous disease sufferers. Davin Haraway, DO, and his team at Tulsa Vein Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are highly trained to diagnose and treat your damaged veins. Call (918) 701-2020 or go online to request an appointment.

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Do vein treatments require surgery?

No. More than a decade ago, a surgical procedure called vein stripping and ligation was the most common method for treating varicose and spider veins.

Vein stripping required the patient to be under general anesthesia while the doctor made incisions in the skin to reach and tie off affected veins, or ultimately remove the larger ones. Patients could be discharged the same day and could expect a one-to-four-week recovery time.

Today vein stripping is only used in the most severe cases because doctors have added many advanced minimally invasive treatments that can be performed right in the doctor’s office.

These newer procedures not only reduce recovery time but also minimize side effects and pain while optimizing outcomes and reducing the likelihood of complications such as blood clots, scarring, infection, and ulcers.

Although the premise of each treatment is similar —  target the affected vein and remove or close it off, allowing the blood to reroute to a healthy vein —  each uses a different method. Dr. Haraway can use:

  • Injections, chemical irritants, as in the case of sclerotherapy and endovenous chemical ablation
  • Thermal energy, as in the case of endovenous thermal ablation, radiofrequency or laser.
  • Medical adhesive, closes off the vein, as in the case of the VenaSeal™ closure system
  • Small incisions, next to the affected vein to remove the vein in small sections, as in the case of a procedure known as a phlebectomy.

Dr. Haraway might also recommend mechanochemical ablation or Clarivein®.

How do I know what vein treatment is right for me?

Dr. Haraway develops a treatment plan based on the severity of the vein damage, the location of the vein, and your overall health.

What happens if I don’t treat my varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a component of a disease process called chronic venous insufficiency. The disease process is relentlessly progressive and worsens over time.

If left untreated, the number of varicose veins and their associated symptoms will increase.

Many factors dictate the speed of progression, including:

  • Genetics
  • Occupation (prolonged standing and sitting)
  • Pregnancy
  • Body weight

The speed of progression can also depend on whether you wear compression hose. These treat your symptoms but do nothing for the underlying cause of varicose veins, which is best treated with endovenous thermal ablation.

If you have aching legs and unsightly veins, contact the Tulsa Vein Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma at (918) 701-2020 or via the online tool to request an appointment.