Specializing in the science and treatment of venous disease
Many treatments are available for conditions resulting from venous disease. Treatments range from conservative therapy (compression stockings, elevation, over-the-counter pain medication) to minor outpatient procedures. Generally, conservative therapy is attempted first, and if this does not provide adequate relief, more definitive treatments are advised.
In most cases, smaller veins are usually treated by injections (sclerotherapy) while larger veins are sealed closed with a laser (endovenous laser ablation) or removed. Your Duke Vein Clinic doctor will tailor a treatment plan specifically for your veins.
A number of new techniques and devices have made treatment simpler, are more effective, and have expanded the treatment options for patients with venous disease.
Almost all the treatments for venous disease are minimally invasive and are performed in the office setting without general anesthesia. New techniques include: sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, and CoolTouch cutaneous laser -- all of which are performed at the Duke Vein Clinic.
Almost all of the new techniques are aimed at sealing the vein closed. Because there is a chance after any treatment that the treated vein may reopen, pressure is always applied to the treated vein, either by a small ball of gauze and tape or a compression stocking.
The optimal time of post treatment compression depends on the size and length of the vein treated. This extra post-treatment pressure helps the vein remain compressed closed until it permanently seals closed with scar.
After treatment, veins may become slightly inflamed and may be tender or bruised for a few days. However, after a few months they are eventually absorbed by the body.
Because most people have more than one type of varicose vein, they usually require more than one type of treatment for satisfactory results. For instance, someone may require both endovenous ablation and sclerotherapy.
Because only a few veins can be treated at one time, most people require several clinic visits for a series of treatments, each spaced several weeks apart.
Most varicose veins take years to form, so for more advanced cases, it may take months to effectively treat them.
Since most insurance companies (see our insurance page) require a trial of compression stockings before they will approve treatment, and since the insurance companies then allow one to three months for their approval process, it may be three to six months before definitive treatment is even started.
Since multiple treatment types, usually in series, are frequently required, once treatment has started, it may take several months before treatment is completed.