veinhealth

25, 11, 2022

What you need to know about abdominal aortic aneurysm

2022-10-24T14:50:55-07:00

What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

The aorta, the largest artery in your body, runs from your heart, down through your chest, and into your abdomen. The abdominal region of the aorta is responsible for delivering blood to your legs, GI tract and kidneys.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the wall of the aorta progressively weakens and begins to bulge. An AAA may continue to enlarge and eventually rupture if left untreated, causing severe internal bleeding and possibly death. Nearly 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with A A A annually; approximately 15,000 die each year from a ruptured AAA.

In addition to concerns about rupture, clots or debris may also develop within an AAA. These substances can be carried to other areas in the body and block circulation, causing severe pain or possibly limb loss if blood flow is cut off for too long.

AAA can be safely treated with early diagnosis; however, most patients have no symptoms.

Causes and Risk Factors:

Most aortic aneurysms are caused by a breakdown in the proteins that provide structural strength to the wall of the aorta. Some risk factors that contribute to this structural breakdown include:

  • Age—individuals over 60 years are most likely to develop the condition
  • Gender—males are more prone to the condition than females
  • History of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) • Family history of AAA
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure

Symptoms:

Most people feel no symptoms, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm is often detected when tests are conducted for other unrelated reasons. Those who do have symptoms commonly describe back pain, pulsations in the abdomen, groin pain or sometimes sores on the feet.

Diagnosis

If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is suspected, you likely will be referred for an abdominal ultrasound, a painless, safe test that can screen for and measure the size of an AAA. Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) can assess aneurysm size, location and the extent of impact. This study requires exposure to radiation and injection of an intravenous contrast agent. However, a CTA provides valuable anatomic information and can help your vascular surgeon determine the optimal type of repair.

Medicare Screening Benefit

Medicare offers a free, one-time AAA ultrasound screening for qualified seniors as part of their Welcome to Medicare physical during the first 12 months of their enrollment. Men who have smoked sometime during their life and men and women with a family history of AAA are eligible for this benefit.

Treatment

Vascular surgeons can determine the best procedure for you, based on the size of your aneurysm and other factors. For smaller AAAs, you may need to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and lowering blood pressure. You may be prescribed medication. Your surgeon will have you come back for regular checkups to see if the AAA has changed.

For large AAAs, or those that have been increasing in size over time, repair may be carried out either by placement of an endovascular stent graft or by open bypass grafting.

Be sure to see a board certified vascular surgeon. They have specific training in both minimally invasive and traditional open repairs. The type of repair conducted is very important to long term durability and freedom from rupture.

La Jolla Vein & Vascular runs  the diagnostic ultrasound for AAA, but will refer out for treatment.

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

What you need to know about abdominal aortic aneurysm2022-10-24T14:50:55-07:00

Ways to treat varicose veins without procedures

2022-10-24T11:24:45-07:00

Ways to treat varicose veins without procedures: conservative management and self-care.  

Conservative Management and Self-Care for Varicose Veins

Conservative management and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms of varicose veins and help reduce complications such as thrombophlebitis (blood clots within veins) and vein rupture, but do not cause the veins to vanish. These measures are helpful if an individual is not a candidate for vein procedures or wishes to delay interventional treatment. More common options include:

Compression stockings: These elastic stockings squeeze or compress the veins to help circulate blood. The compression stockings prevent blood from flowing backward and pooling in the legs. Compression stockings must be graduated, medical grade compression to be beneficial. TED hose are not adequate to reduce symptoms in venous disease for active patients. Compression stockings come in different strengths and the most common strength for the treatment of varicose veins is 20-30mmhg. Your doctor should advise you which strength of compression stockings you should wear. In patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetics, and neuropathies, compression may be contraindicated or lesser strengths of compression may be advised. 

Leg elevation: Use leg elevation three or four times a day for about 15 minutes at a time. Even elevating your legs on a step stool or ottoman is beneficial. If you need to sit or stand for a long period of time, flexing (bending) your legs occasionally can help keep blood circulating. If you have mild to moderate varicose veins, elevating your legs can help reduce leg swelling and relieve other symptoms. 

Exercise: Exercising is good for your veins because it improves blood flow. Walking, cycling, or swimming are great exercises for vein health. But be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. 

Avoid inactivity: Standing or sitting for long periods of time can aggravate your vein condition. To keep blood moving when you have to sit or stand for long periods, try these tips: at work, take walking breaks and try walking during your lunch hour. While sitting, try flexing your feet up and down 10 times an hour. When standing, raise yourself up and down on your toes or rock back and forth on your heels. 

Dietary Supplements: Supplements such as horse chestnut and grape seed extract can help reduce symptoms of venous disease. Vasculera is a prescription medication that may be helpful for some. Always check with your PCP before starting supplements or new medications as there may be side effects. 

Dietary Changes and High Fiber Diet: A flavonoid rich diet including berries, and green teas, can reduce inflammation and pain. A high fiber diet can increase abdominal pressure and may be helpful for varicose veins. Make sure to drink plenty of water with your high fiber diet. 

Anti-inflammatory Medications: are helpful to reduce pain and inflammation, but check with your doctor first to make sure you don’t have contraindications to using them. Ibuprofen and Advil are common oral anti-inflammatory medications. There are also anti-inflammatory cream or gels that can be applied topically to the painful veins, such as Voltaren gel. 

Ice packs: and heating pads can be applied to tender veins. Ice packs and heating pads can be used in an alternating manner. 

Weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins. It’s optimal to manage your weight to reduce extra symptoms and pain. These are the 9 best ways to treat varicose veins with conservative management. 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

Ways to treat varicose veins without procedures2022-10-24T11:24:45-07:00

Venous Reflux Disease

2022-10-24T11:22:20-07:00

What is Venous Reflux Disease?

Venous reflux disease is also known as venous stasis, venous insufficiency or venous incompetence and refers to ‘leaky valves’ in the veins of the legs. 

Reflux may occur in the deep and/or superficial leg veins. The deep veins are those within the muscle; they bring at least 80-90% of the blood from the legs back to the heart. The superficial veins are outside the muscle and under the skin. The main superficial veins are the Great Saphenous Vein that courses up the middle of the thigh and calf and small saphenous vein. Normally, there are one-way valves within the leg veins, which help blood flow in one direction: toward the heart. This means blood is traveling against gravity. The calf muscle also helps move blood toward the heart. When vein valves are leaky, blood flows backward (reflux) towards the feet. Blood pools in the lower legs, causing bulging veins at the surface. 

Symptoms of Venous Reflux Disease:

Symptoms of venous reflux disease include; leg heaviness, leg fatigue, leg pain, ankle swelling, phlebitis (inflamed and painful veins), restless legs at night, and night cramps. Venous reflux disease is progressive and worsens over time. Skin changes may also develop, including darkening of the skin around the ankles. The darkening of the skin is sometimes referred to as venous stasis skin changes. The skin can become dry and itchy (venous eczema). Eventually, the skin can break down causing a wound, called a venous leg ulcer. All of which are possible symptoms of venous reflux disease to look out for. 

What influences the development of Venous Reflux Disease?

A patient is more likely to develop venous reflux disease if they are:

  • Overweight
  • Pregnant
  • Have a family history of vein disease
  • Have damage to the leg due to injury, surgery, or previous blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • A blood clot in a deep vein (calf or thigh) “deep vein thrombosis” 
  • Swelling and inflammation of a vein close to the skin, known as “phlebitis”

How is Venous Reflux Disease Diagnosed? 

In addition to physical exam findings and medical history, an ultrasound examination is an important tool in the assessment of venous disease. Not all venous disease is visible to the naked eye, and it usually arises from veins that are beneath the surface of the skin, only visible by ultrasound technology. 

The ultrasound allows us to see if the valves are leaky; it can detect the direction of blood flow and also detects blockages in the veins, for example from blood clots or scars within the veins from previous clots. The ultrasound will determine exactly which veins are “bad” or incompetent. Reflux may be detected in the deep veins (within the muscle), the great and small saphenous veins, and /or branches of the saphenous veins. This will help determine the treatment plan. 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

Venous Reflux Disease2022-10-24T11:22:20-07:00

Treatment for Saphenous Venous Reflux

2022-10-24T11:16:48-07:00

The best treatment for Saphenous Vein Reflux is tailored to the individual 

Fortunately, there are a variety of non-surgical treatment options for saphenous vein reflux, the underlying cause for varicose veins and it’s symptoms. Because vein treatment is not, ‘one treatment fits all,’ the treatment plan should be customized to the patient. Non-surgical options include, laser vein ablation, radiofrequency vein ablation, varithena foam, venaseal an mechanical-chemical ablation, also known as clarivein. This article will specifically discuss features about Clarivein which make it a good option for some patients.

Mechanical-Chemical Ablation (Clarivein) for Saphenous Vein Reflux 

The ClariVein procedure for treatment of backwards flow (or reflux) in your saphenous veins. The great and small saphenous veins are the two main superficial veins of the leg. They run along the inner leg and the back of the leg. This minimally invasive procedure can be performed in the office in less than an hour. This offers patients the benefit of being able to return to their usual level of activity the same day. 

How does the treatment work?

The skin is numbed with lidocaine, then the ClariVein catheter is placed into the unhealthy vein. The catheter closes the vein painlessly by delivering two treatments: 

  1. Mechanical treatment with a tiny rotating wire. 
  2. Chemical treatment with polidocanol. 

This technique is highly effective in closing the vein and only requires one skin puncture, similar to placing an iv. 

What should I expect on the day of treatment? 

The procedure is performed with local anesthesia, but many patients elect to use a mild oral sedative (Valium), which is taken after checking in and completing all paperwork. The patient will change into a gown and leave underwear on. Depending on the vein to be treated, the patient will lay on the back or on the belly. We do our best to make special accommodations (for example, if the patient cannot lie flat or cannot bend a knee very well) with body positioning and using pillows. We will do our best to make the patient comfortable. Then, we will give the option of watching a movie on Netflix or listen to music. Once the patient is comfortable, the leg will be prepped with a cleansing solution for the sterile procedure. The doctor will perform an ultrasound to map the vein to be treated. Then, a numbing agent (lidocaine) will be injected into the skin. In the numb area of the skin, a tiny puncture is made to pass the ClariVein catheter. Once the catheter and rotating wire are in place, the doctor will start the treatment. It is common to feel a tickling or vibrating sensation as the doctor treats the vein. Patients usually have minimal to no pain during this procedure. Once the vein has been treated, the patient will wear compression stockings for 72 hours continuously. The benefits of wearing compression stockings during post surgical recovery are mentioned here

What should I do after treatment? 

You should walk 30 minutes twice daily after treatment and move your legs frequently throughout the day with short walks and/or calf exercises. This will alleviate discomfort and avoid pooling of blood in the legs. It is normal to have aching in the treated veins. This responds well to walking, ice packs, and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Compression stockings are recommended for after treatment. 

What should I avoid after treatment? 

For at least two weeks after treatment, you should avoid strenuous exercise (anything more than a brisk walk), heavy lifting, saunas or hot tubs, and leg massages. All of these dilate the superficial veins and interfere with their healing. You should also avoid airline travel for two weeks after treatment. 

What are the possible adverse effects? 

Expect some bruising over the puncture site, which fades over about two weeks. The skin overlying larger varicose veins may also develop some temporary inflammation and/or brownish hyperpigmentation as the blood products within those veins are absorbed by the body. An uncommon complication is a blood clot within a deep vein. 

Videos of the treatment, as well as after care instructions can be found on our website or our Youtube Channel.



Treatment for Saphenous Venous Reflux2022-10-24T11:16:48-07:00

Treatment for reticular veins

2022-10-24T11:12:10-07:00

The best treatment for Reticular Veins is through a painless alternative to traditional sclerotherapy: Cryo-Sclerotherapy.

Why have I been offered cryo-sclerotherapy?

We recommend patients undergo cry-sclerotherapy to mainly treat spider veins and small varicose veins at the skin surface (also known as reticular veins). Traditional sclerotherapy involves injection of a medication into the vein using a tiny needle. This causes the vein to collapse and eventually fade away. The medication will be administered in a liquid and /or foam formulation, depending on the size of the veins. Cryo-sclerotherapy is the combination of traditional sclerotherapy in combination with the use of a cryo device. The cryo device delivers puffs of cold air simultaneously during sclerotherapy. The result  is the cold air anesthetizes the skin so the treatment is relatively painless. This is especially helpful for treatment of sensitive areas like the inner ankles and thighs. Instead of feeling the needle prick, you will feel puffs of cold air instead. The cold air may also reduce bruising and pain. 

What should I expect on my treatment days? 

You will sign your consent form then change into shorts provided by the office. We will clean your skin with alcohol. The sclerosant medication will then be injected into your veins with a fine needle. Just before the needle is used, you will feel puffs of cold air. The cold air will anesthetize the skin, so that the prick from the needle is not felt or lessened. Every time the needle is used, you will feel puffs of cold air instead. After your treatment, we will help you into your compression stockings, then you will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. It is normal for your legs to be achy and tender to the touch after treatment. 

What should I do after treatment?

You will be instructed on how long to wear compression stockings after treatment, depending on the size of the veins that are treated. Most patients wear thigh-high compression stockings continuously for 1-3 days, then another 7 days. 

You may shower with the stockings on or take a quick cool shower with them off. 

You should walk 30 minutes twice daily after treatment and move your legs frequently throughout the day with short walks and/or calf exercises. This avoids pooling of blood in the legs. Avoid prolonged sitting during the day. 

It is normal to have aching in the treated veins. This responds well to walking, ice packs, and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). 

What should I avoid after treatment? 

For at least two weeks after treatment, you should avoid strenuous exercise (anything more than a brisk walk), heavy lifting, saunas or hot tubs, and leg massages. All of these dilate the superficial veins and interfere with their healing. You should also avoid airline travel for two weeks after treatment. 

What are the possible side effects? 

You will likely have some bruising over the injection sites, then the treated veins may become firm and blue. 

The skin overlying treated veins may also develop brownish hyperpigmentation as the blood products within those veins are absorbed by the body; in some patients it can take up to a year to fade. Some patients temporarily develop some very fine, pink spider veins in areas where veins have been treated (telangiectatic matting). These usually resolve spontaneously over several weeks but occasionally require additional treatment to clear. 

Many patients will feel their veins look a bit worse in the first month after sclerotherapy, but through the best treatment for reticular veins, cryo-sclerotherapy, patients have reported it to be a more painless approach for treatment.  

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

Treatment for reticular veins2022-10-24T11:12:10-07:00

Radiofrequency Treatment for Varicose Veins

2022-10-24T11:00:17-07:00

At La Jolla Vein and Vascular, we use a special procedure called radiofrequency treatment for varicose veins. This treatment uses a radiofrequency energy to heat up the wall of the vein. This treatment is used for varicose veins. Varicose veins develop when valves in the veins are damaged and this causes the veins to bulge or twist and stand out in the legs. Radiofrequency ablation treatment closes off the blood flow in the vein that causes the varicose veins. 

Radiofrequency Ablation for Saphenous Vein Reflux 

Why was I offered an endovenous radiofrequency ablation procedure? 

Most patients who are offered a radiofrequency ablation procedure is for backwards flow (or reflux) in the saphenous vein(s). The great and small saphenous veins are the two main superficial veins of the leg. They run along the inner leg and the back of the leg, respectively. This minimally invasive procedure can be performed in the office in less than an hour and patients return to their usual level of activity the same day. 

How does the treatment work?

The skin is numbed with lidocaine, then a tiny wire and the Closurefast catheter are inserted into the vein. The catheter delivers radio-frequency energy to the vein wall, causing it to seal shut. The remaining healthy veins continue to bring blood back to the heart. 

What should I expect on the day of treatment?

The procedure is performed with local anesthesia, but many patients elect to use a mild oral sedative (Valium), which is taken after checking in and completing all paperwork. You will change into a gown and leave underwear on. Depending on the vein to be treated, you will lay on your back or on your belly. We do our best to make special accommodations (for example, if you cannot lie flat or cannot bend a knee very well) with body positioning and using pillows. We will do our best to make you comfortable. Then, we will give you the option of watching a movie on Netflix or listen to music. Once you are comfortable, your leg will be prepped with a cleansing solution for the sterile procedure. The doctor will perform an ultrasound to map the vein to be treated. Then, a numbing agent (lidocaine) will be injected into the skin.

In the numb area of the skin, a tiny puncture is made to pass the radiofrequency catheter. Your doctor will then use a  needle to administer a combination of cool saline and local anesthetic around the vein either in the thigh or calf (depending on which vein is treated). This solution numbs the vein and insulates it from the surrounding tissue. After the numbing solution is applied, the vein is painlessly treated with radiofrequency energy. Once your vein has been treated, we will clean your leg and apply a compression stocking which you will wear for 72 hours continuously. You will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. 

What should I do after treatment? 

You should walk 30 minutes twice daily after treatment and move your legs frequently throughout the day with short walks and/or calf exercises. This will alleviate discomfort and avoid pooling of blood in the legs. Most of the numbing solution around the vein will be absorbed by your body within a few hours, but you may have a small amount of blood-tinged saline leak from your puncture site onto the gauze. In that case, just remove the gauze and roll your stockings back up. 

What should I avoid after treatment?

For at least two weeks after treatment, you should avoid airline travel to minimize pooling of blood in the legs. You should avoid strenuous exercise (anything more than a brisk walk), heavy lifting, saunas or hot tubs, and leg massages. All of these dilate the superficial veins and interfere with their healing. 

What are the possible adverse effects? 

Expect some bruising over the injection sites, which fades over about two weeks. The skin overlying larger varicose veins may also develop some temporary inflammation and/or brownish hyperpigmentation as the blood products within those veins are absorbed by the body. An uncommon complication is a blood clot within a deep vein.

Before and After Varicose Vein Treatment 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 


Radiofrequency Treatment for Varicose Veins2022-10-24T11:00:17-07:00

Phlebectomy

2022-10-24T10:51:24-07:00

Micro-Phlebectomy for varicose veins 

A phlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, which is the surgical removal of bulging varicose veins through tiny skin incisions. This procedure is performed in the office with local anesthesia. Phlebectomy is also known as micro phlebectomy (because the incisions are tiny) or it can also be referred to as ambulatory phlebectomy. 

What are the options for treating bulging varicose veins at the skin surface? 

There are two main techniques to treat varicose veins: 

  1. Phlebectomy: surgical removal of the veins
  2. Foam sclerotherapy: injection of a medicated foam to close the veins

Sclerotherapy is the least invasive, but patients with large and or numerous bulging veins may require several sclerotherapy appointments over two or more months. This is because we can only administer a small amount of foam medication per day and larger veins may require two or more injections to close. Larger veins can also become firm and tender after sclerotherapy and/or deposit brownish blood pigments in the skin as the veins are healing. 

Why was I offered a phlebectomy?

Patients with bulging varicose veins may prefer to start with micro-phlebectomy removal of the largest veins, then sclerotherapy treatment for the remaining veins. This reduces the number of appointments and accelerates recovery. 

How does the procedure work?

The skin is numbed with lidocaine, then a tiny puncture is made in the skin (about ½ the size of a grain of rice). We then infuse additional numbing medication around the veins. A small hook is used to bring the vein to the skin surface, then the vein is removed. 

What should I expect on the day of treatment? 

The procedure is performed with local anesthesia, but many patients elect to use a mild oral sedative (Valium), which is taken after checking in and completing all paperwork. We will mark your bulging veins with a marker. A small hook will be used to bring the veins to the surface. More numbing medication will be infused around the veins. You will feel pressure as the veins are removed but not pain. Usually about 10-12 veins are removed. 

Once the procedure is done, we will apply skin glue to the tiny puncture sites, then sterile bandages. We will help you into your compression stocking and place an ACE wrap around the treated area. You will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. The ACE wrap can be removed that night or the next day. You will wear the compression stocking for 72 hours continuously. 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

Phlebectomy2022-10-24T10:51:24-07:00

Microphlebectomy and the risks

2022-10-24T10:48:00-07:00

MicroPhlebectomy for varicose veins 

A microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, which is the surgical removal of bulging varicose veins through tiny skin incisions. This procedure is performed in the office with local anesthesia. Phlebectomy is also known as micro phlebectomy (because the incisions are tiny) or it can also be referred to as ambulatory phlebectomy. A microphlebectomy is for someone who is suffering from complications from varicose veins. The complications can include persistent pain, cramping, or discoloration of the skin. 

Risks of Microphlebectomy:

With any procedure, there are risks. In microphlebectomy the risks are listed below:

  • There is a low risk of infection at the vein removal sites, which we minimize by using sterile technique and prophylactic antibiotics. You will start the antibiotic on the morning of your procedure and continue it for 24 hours after the procedure. 
  • As with any vein treatment, there are also very small risks of deep vein clots and nerve injury. 
  • You will have bruising where the veins were removed, which fades over about two weeks. To reduce bruising, swelling or redness, try RECOVA cream
  • A nerve injury to the skin.
  • Numbness or pain in the feet
  • Adverse reaction to sedative or anesthetic 
  • Severe bleeding or swelling
  • Thrombophlebitis 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

Microphlebectomy and the risks2022-10-24T10:48:00-07:00

La Jolla Vein & Vascular: Ways we treat venous disease

2022-10-24T10:42:16-07:00

Symptoms to look for in venous disease:

La Jolla Vein and Vascular offers various ways for venous disease treatment. While there are numerous excellent ways to treat venous disease, we have named four of our favorite ways to treat it. What is venous disease and how does it happen? Venous disease occurs when backwards flow (or “reflux”) is present in the superficial veins of the legs. This can cause pain, fatigue, itching, swelling, and varicose veins, which can lead to venous disease. Night-time symptoms include leg cramps and restless legs. Advanced disease can produce skin damage and wounds that do not heal. 

An ultrasound is used to identify the source of backwards flow and develop a personalized treatment plan. 

The best symptomatic and cosmetic results are achieved when superficial vein reflux is treated from its source, starting with the main superficial veins of the legs and leaving the skin-level (cosmetic) treatment for last. 

Each specific treatment plan depends on the patient’s goals. Some patients are only concerned about symptomatic improvement and avoiding complications of long term venous reflux disease. Others may be interested in cosmetic improvement. In either case, we can generally achieve an 80% improvement in symptoms and appearance of the legs. Many patients also report improvement in swelling  after venous disease treatment.  

Venous Disease Treatment: Saphenous Reflux with a Catheter Ablation Procedure

The great and small saphenous travel down the inner leg and back of the leg, respectively. These veins tend to be straight and far from skin and nerves, which allows us to treat them with minimally invasive catheter procedures that are potent and precise. A catheter is a very thin tube that is inserted into the vein, similar to an IV, through which the doctor can apply heat, a rotating wire, and or medication. All modalities are about 95% effective in closing the diseased vein. None require a skin incision, so they do not leave a scar. 

Venous Disease Treatment: Branch Venous Reflux

Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for branches of the saphenous veins and portions of the saphenous veins which cannot be treated with a catheter procedure (e.g. if they are too close to skin or nerves). The veins are localized with ultrasound, then the medication is given through a tiny needle. Several treatments may be needed, as we can only administer a small amount of foam per day. Large or resistant veins may require more than one injection. For very large bulging varicose veins through tiny skin incisions. This allows many veins to be treated in one day. 

Venous Disease Treatment: Spider Veins with Cosmetic Sclerotherapy 

Following treatment of the “underlying reflux” with the ultrasound-guided procedures, you may still have some prominent veins at the skin level. These can be treated with cosmetic sclerotherapy. 

Venous Disease Treatment: Compression of Stockings 

Prior to approval of treatments for venous disease, insurers require patients to try compression stockings. Medicare requires a 3-month trial of compression supervised by the treating physician. We recommend patients should wear the 20-30 mmHg thigh-high stockings for at least a day before treatment to confirm they fit. 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular: Ways we treat venous disease2022-10-24T10:42:16-07:00

EVLA for varicose veins

2022-10-24T10:29:30-07:00

Endovenous Laser Ablation for Saphenous Vein Reflux (EVLA)

Endovenous laser vein ablation, also known as endovenous laser therapy (EVLA), is a type of treatment for saphenous vein reflux, the underlying cause of most varicose veins. At La Jolla Vein Care, we offer ALL treatment modalities for varicose veins, not just one. Treatment is customized based on a person’s individual pattern of venous reflux (determined by ultrasound examination), personal preference, and personal health history.

The  endovenous laser vein ablation procedure may be offered for backward flow (or “reflux”) in your saphenous vein(s).  The great and small saphenous veins are the two main superficial veins that run along the inner thigh/ calf and the back of the legs, respectively. Some people have anatomic variations where the small saphenous vein in the back of the calf extends to the thigh. Many people also have reflux in their anterior or posterior saphenous veins.

This minimally invasive procedure can be performed in the office in less than 30 minutes and patients return to their usual level of activity the same day. 

How does the treatment work?

The skin is numbed with lidocaine, then a tiny wire and the laser catheter are inserted into the vein. The catheter delivers laser energy to the vein wall, causing it to seal shut. The remaining healthy veins continue to bring blood back to the heart. 

What should I expect on the day of treatment?

The procedure is performed with local anesthesia, but many patients elect to use a mild oral sedative (Valium), which is taken after checking in and completing all paperwork. You will change into a gown and leave underwear on. 

Depending on the vein to be treated, you will lay on your back or on your belly. We do our best to make special accommodations (for example, if you cannot lie flat or cannot bend a knee very well) with body positioning and using pillows. We will do our best to make you comfortable. Then, we will give you the option of watching a movie on Netflix or listen to music. Once you are comfortable, your leg will be prepped with cleansing solution for the sterile procedure. The doctor will perform an ultrasound to map the vein to be treated. 

Then, a numbing agent (lidocaine) will be injected into the skin. In the numb area of the skin, a tiny puncture is made to pass the laser catheter under ultrasound guidance. Your doctor will then use a needle to administer a combination of cool saline and local anesthetic around the vein. This solution numbs the vein and insulates it from the surrounding tissue. Laser energy will then be used to painlessly treat the vein. Once your vein has been treated, we will help you into your compression stocking, which you will wear for 72 hours continuously. You will walk for 30 minutes prior to getting in your car. 

La Jolla Vein & Vascular (formerly La Jolla Vein Care) is committed to bringing experts together for unparalleled vein and vascular care. 

 

Nisha Bunke, MD, Sarah Lucas, MD, and Elliot DeYoung, MD are specialists who combine their experience and expertise to offer world-class vascular care. 

 

Our accredited center is also a nationally known teaching site and center of excellence. 

 

For more information on treatments and to book a consultation, please give our office a call at 858-550-0330. 

 

For a deeper dive into vein and vascular care, please check out our Youtube Channel at this link.

 

For more information on varicose veins and eliminating underlying venous insufficiency, check this link out full of resources. 

 

EVLA for varicose veins2022-10-24T10:29:30-07:00
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