The Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii is excited to provide the residents of Hawaii minimally invasive and state-of-the art treatment for their varicose veins. The following is a brief discussion on the pathophysiology of varicose veins and the treatments available at the Center.
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your muscles, tissues and organs. Veins return that blood back to heart so it can be re-oxygenated and recirculated.
To accomplish this feat, the veins in your legs must work against gravity. Muscles in your legs and elastic vein walls help return blood to your heart. Tiny one-way valves in your legs open as blood returns upward towards your heart and close to prevent blood from flowing backward.
Due to a variety of factors (ranging from hormones, trauma, pregnancy, genetics, obesity, pro- longed standing and aging), the veins in your legs may lose their elasticity and cause them to stretch. The valves in your veins may become weak and allow the blood, which is supposed to return to the heart, flow backwards. Blood then pools and accumulates in your veins, which then become enlarged and varicose — hence the term varicose veins. The veins appear blue because they contain deoxygenated blood. This development is termed venous insufficiency.
Many individuals may first notice unsightly spider veins — tiny red or blue veins on their legs. They vary in size and often have the appearance of a spider’s web or tree branch. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller in size. You may not have any symptoms from these veins except that you do not care for their appearance.
However, have you ever experienced any leg heaviness, cramping, throbbing, swelling, aching, itching or restless legs? These symptoms are characteristic of venous insufficiency in your legs. After an initial consultation with one the Center’s physicians, the next step is to obtain a duplex ultrasound scan of your legs. This procedure is non-invasive and will decipher any abnormal flow in your leg veins. It can also document any leg blood clots, also known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
Once this information is acquired and analyzed, the Vein and Skin Center’s physicians will formulate a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient. The treatment scope includes visual sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation therapy (EVLA), ambulatory phlebectomy, ultra- sound-guided sclerotherapy and laser treatments.
Visual sclerotherapy treats the smaller visible spider veins. It involves the injection of a harmless solution into the veins to scar and seal them. In addition, our physicians utilize Hawaii’s only VeinViewer, which is the only patented technology to visualize subcutaneous veins in real- time. Not only does this assure increased accuracy of injections, but it also provides instant feedback as to the injection’s success.
Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) involves inserting a thin laser catheter into a slightly deeper leg vein, which is the source of varicose and spider veins. As the laser catheter is pulled out, the laser tip is heated and causes the collapse of the vein to seal it closed.
Ambulatory phlebectomy involves the removal of smaller varicose veins via a series of tiny skin punctures. This procedure is performed with local anesthesia, is minimally invasive and leaves minimal to no scarring.
Ultrasound-guide sclerotherapy employs the use of a noninvasive ultrasound scan in real time to target deeper veins, which may be the source of recurrent varicose veins. The same solution utilized with visual sclerotherapy is injected into these troublesome veins to scar and close them.
Nd:YAG laser technology is utilized to treat or touch up spider veins. The laser treatments gently and effectively enable these unsightly blood vessels to fade slowly and become re-absorbed by your body. No anesthesia is required, and treatments are rapid, safe and effective with little or no discomfort. The Center’s new advanced laser treatments deliver precise and tailored doses of energy to the targeted vein in a series of brief pulses. Regular activities may be resumed immediately after the therapy.
Patients have expressed tremendous satisfaction with their treatment results and overall experience at the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii. One of the Center’s clients recently shared her experience and wanted to let others know how satisfied she was:
“I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me,” the patient said. “I am very pleased and happy with the excellent results of the procedure done by you. My legs look and feel absolutely younger. They feel light, pain free and look youthful and pretty.”
The goal of the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii is to provide comprehensive care of venous disease. The procedures are minimally invasive and require little to no down time.
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