About half of all women over 50 will develop varicose veins in their legs, and many see them form much younger. Varicose veins can be embarrassing and many women avoid shorts and skirts in order to hide their legs. Treating them used to be difficult, but now there is a simple laser procedure, shown recently on The Doctors that's helping many women dig out their shorts and show their legs again.
The VenaCure EVLT System from AngioDynamics uses a minimally invasive endovenous laser to delivers a precise dose of energy into the vein wall, collapsing it. The blood flow is then diverted to nearby functioning veins and the surface appearance of the vein is improved as well as circulation. No general anesthesia is required and there is only minimal pain and bruising following treatment.
Dr. John Hewett of Pacific Interventionalists in Newport Beach, CA, performed the procedure with the NeverTouch laser fiber. This fiber uses a gold tip or jacket at the end which works as a buffer between the end of the fiber and vein walls, protecting the patient from accidental vein perforation and increasing the doctor's ability to see the tip under ultrasound. The end of the NeverTouch fiber is also covered with a glass tube - or ferrule -that diffuses the energy delivered by 56 percent, so it is less likely to cut the vein and will seal it as intended.
If you prefer to avoid the laser, or if you have small varicose veins known as spider veins, the recently FDA approved Asclera injection treatment may provide a better solution. Asclera works by damaging the cell lining of the veins causing the blood vessel to close. Common adverse reactions to Asclera include leakage and collection of blood from damaged blood vessels at the injection site (hematoma), bruising, irritation, discoloration, and pain at the injection site.