Clearing Up Five Myths About Varicose Veins
Effective treatment is available with no down time
The treatment for varicose veins used to be an invasive process, requiring arduous surgery and up to seven days in a hospital. Nowadays, the condition can be treated quickly and painlessly, allowing patients to promptly resume their regular activities.
“It’s a completely outpatient procedure with no down time,” says Dr. Anthony Alfieri, founder of Delaware Advanced Vein Center. “It takes about 15 minutes to do, it’s more or less painless, and you can work the next day.”
Dr. Alfieri, who is a cardiologist for 25 years, explains that having varicose veins is “needlessly limiting” for many people. Moreover, he says the newest innovations in treatment ensure they will enjoy a better quality of life.
Here are five myths about varicose veins and what the facts really are.
Myth: Varicose veins are caused by pregnancy.
Fact: Though being overweight, pregnant, or working at a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time can have an adverse impact, genetics are the real culprit. So, if your mother or anyone in your family suffers from varicose veins, it would be prudent to get evaluated.
Myth: Varicose veins are only found in older women.
Fact: Aging increases the risk, but Dr. Alfieri has treated patients from ages 18 to over 90.
Myth: Varicose veins are mainly a cosmetic issue.
Fact: Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves and veins that allow blood to collect in your legs. It’s a medically treatable condition that is progressive but can be cured.
Myth: Insurance does not cover the treatment of varicose veins.
Fact: Coverage is available.
However, insurers have set standards for paying for treatment, so talk to our insurance specialist.
Myth: Only women suffer from varicose veins.
Fact: Symptoms in men can include discoloration, large bulging veins, and skin ulcers. But males can also be successfully treated.
Surgeons formerly used a procedure known as saphenous vein stripping to deal with varicose veins. This method consisted of making an incision at each end of the vein. The surgeon then threaded a flexible wire through the vein and pulled it out. However, that procedure could result in scarring and there was a risk for infection.
Today, the treatment for varicose veins is much less invasive, with the gold standard being ultrasound. And the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
“I haven’t seen one patient we have done that wouldn’t have done it over,” says Dr. Alfieri. “I would say that’s universally true.”
Here are four effective techniques used by Dr. Alfieri at Delaware Advanced Vein Center offices in Wilmington and Newark:
• VNUS Closure™ – Using ultrasound guidance, a Closure catheter is positioned in the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin.
• Ambulatory Phlebectomy – This is a surgical removal of surface veins that is usually completed in the office using local anesthesia. Incisions are tiny—stitches are generally not necessary—and typically leave imperceptible puncture mark scars.
• Sclerotherapy – A tiny needle is used to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together and the blood to clot.
• VNUS ClosureRFS™ – This is a minimally invasive option to traditional surgery for venous ulcers on legs. It uses laser energy to seal off faulty blood vessels.
Dr. Alfieri says the key for treating varicose veins is to be proactive. The quicker patients seek the proper treatment, the less potential for problems.
“If you get treated before you get all the varicose veins, you won’t get them,” he says.
Delaware Advanced Vein Center provides disease prevention and treatment for peripheral venous disease at the highest level. The Center has been recognized for following essential standards to provide high-quality care. The vein clinic serves patients from a number of communities located near New Castle County, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Testimonial: Dr. Alfieri and staff were very friendly and professional. They were knowledgeable about the cutting edge vein treatment methods to reduce pain, numbness and swelling in my legs. I am very pleased with the results. ~ Kimberly Hill, Townsend, DE
Delaware Advanced Vein Center
40 Omega Drive. Building G • Newark, DE 19713
701 Foulk Road. Suite 1A • Wilmington, DE 19803
2600 Glasgow Avenue. Suite 103 • Newark, DE 19702