At the Vascular Center of City International Hospital, our focus is exclusively on the treatment of varicose veins.
At our specialty Vascular Center in City International Hospital, varicose veins are one of the most frequently treated issues we address for our patients. Varicose veins are swollen bulging veins under the surface of the skin that can be dark purple or blue in color. Although varicose veins can occur anywhere in the legs, they most often occur in the calves and behind the knees. Varicose veins develop on legs due to long standing venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency leads to venous stasis, or pooling of blood in the lower legs, which can stretch out the veins leading to pain, swelling, and ultimately skin problems such as stasis dermatitis or venous stasis ulcers.
Venous insufficiency simply means some of the leg veins are not working efficiently enough. The function of veins is to bring blood back to the heart. Because the veins of the legs work against gravity, they contain one-way valves to prevent the blood from flowing backward as it travels back to the heart. If the one-way valve becomes weak, some of the blood can leak back down the vein, causing the veins to become pressurized in the veins. This causes what is known as venous insufficiency, vein reflux, or venous reflux. With venous reflux, veins start to bulge out on the legs. There is both a deep and superficial venous system in the legs. Venous insufficiency can be superficial, deep, or a combination of both.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Venous reflux is a condition that develops when the valves that usually keep blood flowing out of your legs become damaged or diseased. When this occurs in the superficial veins, the congestion will cause the veins to abnormally enlarge, which in turn leads to either varicose veins and/or spider veins. When this happens over the long term, complications such as thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous stasis changes in the skin and venous stasis ulcers can occur. The cause can be primary, for example from genetic influences, or secondary, due to damage to the vein valves from prior blood clots (Deep venous thrombosis) or phlebitis (superficial vein inflammation).
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
While many varicose veins are asymptomatic, patients with bulging veins often complain that their legs feel heavy, or ache, and often their legs throb or feel more uncomfortable as the day goes on. Typically, these symptoms are worse at the end of the day and with prolonged standing. It is thought that these symptoms are due to a stretching of the veins as the blood abnormally pools in the leg vessels when the patient is standing. With time the skin by the ankle can become red, purple or brown, and inflamed whereby the patients complain of itching or burning of the skin. In some cases the inflammation is so profound over time the skin breaks down, leading to a venous stasis ulcer.
For many patients, an office evaluation by a vein specialist is all that is needed to determine the extent of the varicose and spider veins. At our Oregon vein centers in NW Portland, Tigard and Bend, this is the first step in developing an initial treatment plan.
In other patients, however, there is evidence that some of the larger superficial veins might be incompetent and contribute to the visible varicose veins. When this is suspected, a detailed examination using a sophisticated Duplex Doppler ultrasound scanner is done to ‘map’ the points of venous insufficiency and characterize the size and location of vessels.
This non-invasive test, performed in the office setting, allows the treating physician to better characterize the extent of the problem and develop a treatment plan that will minimize the chance of recurrence and maximize the potential to obtain the best results. Ultrasound is also used after treatments to monitor progress, rule out complications, and assure optimal results. All this is performed on site in our vascular laboratory.
Treatment Options For Varicose Veins
There are a number of treatment options for patients with varicose veins. The most important first step is for the patient and care provider to consider the goals of the treatment. In many cases the goals are medical, when patients are seeking to reduce the symptoms of ache, swelling, heaviness, tiredness, night time cramping or skin issues such as stasis dermatitis or venous ulceration. In other cases the goal is cosmetic, when the patient is bothered by the appearance of of veins but not by these venous symptoms.
When the concern is cosmetic only on can begin procures promptly. For patients with larger bulging veins, an evaluation is done with an ultrasound, then a treatment plan is developed that may include Closurefast or Venaseal. When the issue is mostly reticular and spider veins, a plan can be developed for sclerotherapy.
However, when the goal is primarily a reduction in the symptoms of ache, swelling, heaviness, tiredness, night time cramping or skin issues such as stasis dermatitis or venous ulceration, we often begin with a conservative approach. This includes trying a program of exercise, elevation, and compression hose. The goal is to see if by undertaking these conservative approaches, the symptoms can be reduced. This program can be from 6 weeks to 3 months, and is often required by the insurance carriers. For patients who try but do not get adequate relief with conservative measures alone, a treatment plan can be developed to treat the veins with techniques such as Closurefast, Venaseal or Varithena. There are often subsequent sessions of sclerotherapy needed in many cases.
The goal is to minimize the degree of symptoms by treating these veins. Generally these procedures can result in considerable improvement in symptoms and a high degree of patient satisfaction. All of these procedures are done in our office. Patients come in, have their procedures, and go home, often in less than an hour. Downtime is minimal and many patients can go back to work the next day if they wish.
Schedule a Consultation to Learn More
To learn more about varicose vein treatment options at one our vascular center, call to request a consultation today with one of our specialists.
Vascular Center - Level 2, City International Hospital (CIH)
For appointment or more information about the services provided, please contact:
- Level 2, City International Hospital (CIH)
- Patient service: (8428) 6280 3333, ext. 8040
VIU - Vascular Interventional Unit
- Level 3, City International Hospital (CIH)
- Patient service: (8428) 6280 3333, ext. 8535
- Operator: (8428) 6280 3333, ext. 0
- Location: Level 3, No. 3, 17A Street, Binh Tri Dong B Ward, Binh Tan Dist. (Next to AEON Mall Binh Tan). Ho Chi Minh City.
- Website: https://cih.com.vn/en/