Foot and Leg Vein Treatments Los Angeles
Foot and leg veins are more prone to deterioration than other veins in the body because they have the hard task of pumping blood up to the heart against gravity. When the major veins in the legs cannot properly pump blood back to the heart, blood flows backwards and pools in the superficial veins, forcing them to enlarge and sometimes even erupt.
Leg vein treatment is indicated when they become problematic, giving rise to many annoying symptoms, such as aching and heaviness in the legs, swollen feet and ankles, burning or throbbing in the legs, lower leg ulcers, and muscle cramps, particularly at night. The visible veins on the legs and feet may not be problematic or life threatening, but you may still want to eliminate them to restore a healthy circulation in your legs and for cosmetic improvement.
The unsightly veins that appear on the leg surface are known as varicose veins (large and bulging), spider veins (thread-like), and reticular veins (small and blue). Skin discoloration, stasis dermatitis and ulceration of the lower legs are other visible signs of leg vein disorder, and usually indicate advancing vein disease. Please go to our vein disease page to learn more about these conditions.
BEFORE/AFTER LEG VEIN TREATMENT
An estimated 30% to 60% of adults have leg varicose veins or spider veins. People most prone to leg and foot vein disorder include those who have a history of varicose veins in the family, spend prolonged periods of time standing, are overweight, or have experienced trauma.
As to foot vein problems, prominent veins, pigmentation and ulcerations are the commonest. These are often caused by the incompetence of the foot pump, which unlike the leg pump, operates in the absence of muscles. Because the venous anatomy of the foot is complicated, the classic notion is that there is no need for intervention if there is no disease. In Dr. Dishakjian’s opinion, treatment of varicose veins should not stop at the ankle, because unsightly foot veins and varicosities of the foot and ankle region can be eliminated by non-surgical and safe treatments. Note that varicose veins of the foot are a continuation of one or both of the saphenous veins. Accordingly, isolated treatment of only the varicosity of the foot is bound to fail. Foot veins should be treated only after treating leg veins.
It should be stressed that untreated abnormal leg veins only will become worse over time. Early treatment of these veins will minimize the risk of complications and further progression of the disease. Leg vein treatment becomes more urgent when complications, such as bleeding, inflammation (phlebitis), clots (thrombosis), dermatitis or ulcers are also present. In general, it is much easier to treat any disease at early stages rather than after its progression. Thus, early treatment of leg veins tends to be less complicated and less involved.
The Necessity of Ultrasound Mapping of Leg Veins
Although visual inspection of the legs may reveal the presence of spider, reticular, and varicose veins, or lower leg ulceration, not all vein disorders are visible to the naked eye. Only a qualified vein specialist can assess the health of your veins and advise whether a medical intervention is absolutely necessary. The assessment of the doctor will be based on Ultrasound diagnostic test findings.
A Venous Duplex Ultrasound exam is an important tool used by vein doctors for mapping of both normal and abnormal leg veins and determining the cause, severity and extent of the problem. Patients with concurrent arterial disease may need additional ultrasound studies to assess their arterial blood supply and those with a personal or family history of blood clots will require additional blood testing.
FOAM SCLEROTHERAPY FOR BULGING LEG VARICOSE VEIN REMOVAL
Choice of Foot and Leg Vein Treatment
The treatment of foot and leg vein problems depends on the nature and severity of the problem. If your symptoms are mild, and you are not concerned about the appearance of your unsightly veins, there are simple measures that you can take to alleviate symptoms. These may include walking, elevating your legs for short periods during the day, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, not wearing tight clothing or high heel shoes, activating the calf muscle by flexing the feet, taking dietary supplements, and wearing moderate strength graduated compression stockings. There are also some medications that your doctor may recommend that can temporary relieve some of the symptoms and signs of vein disease, like leg swelling. However none of these reasonable “lifestyle” adjustments have been proven to have lasting disease altering effect and in preventing the progression of the underlying venous condition or the emergence of new veins.
When ultrasound mapping of leg veins reveals serious leg vein problems, on the other hand, and your veins cause significant discomfort, or disfigure your feet and legs, the best treatment is to eliminate or remove these problematic veins. This can be achieved surgically or one of the newer non-surgical minimally invasive vein treatment options like the ones offered at our vein center.
It should be pointed out that unsightly leg spider veins do not serve a biological purpose and abnormal malfunctioning superficial varicose veins impose an extra burden on the deep veins, which can lead to their deterioration. Once damaged leg veins are removed, the blood finds new paths to the heart through healthy veins. As a result, circulation improves and symptoms associated with damaged leg vein will diminish or even disappear and your legs will look much better.
Non-Surgical Leg and Foot Treatments at Nu Vela Vein Center
Advances in technology in the past decade have made it possible to treat veins with non-surgical, minimally invasive procedures that are office-based, generally less painful, and require less time for recovery. At Nu Vela Vein Center, Dr. Raffi Dishakjian, the vein specialist at the center, has made sure that the center is equipped with the best cutting-edge vein treatment systems and technologies that are currently available in the most advanced vein treatment centers in Southern California.
The following are the non-surgical, minimally invasive vein treatment techniques that Dr. Dishakjian uses to eliminate leg spider veins and ablate varicose veins. The choice is based on the size, location, and the regional anatomy of the site to be treated:
- Sclerotherapy, injection therapy for the removal of leg reticular and spider veins.
- Laser and intense-pulsed-light vein therapy for eliminating very fine leg thread veins.
- Venefit Radiofrequency (RF) Therapy or Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) for varicose vein treatment involving thermal ablation of saphenous and perforator veins.
- Foam sclerotherapy for the elimination of superficial leg varicose veins.
- Microphlebectomy for the removal of the very superficial varicose veins of the leg and foot.
For more information about these techniques please go to our Vein Treatment Options page, or click on the individual treatments listed above.
It should be pointed out that at Nu Vela Vein Center, Dr. R. Dishakjian, like many expert vein specialists, recommends that leg spider veins be treated only after treating varicose and reticular veins. Otherwise recurrence will occur. As to leg varicose vein treatment, Dr. Dishakjian places great emphasis on performing detailed Duplex Ultrasound scanning prior to any treatment plan because the traditional kind of leg vein removal directed solely at the veins seen on the surface and still offered by many vein clinics and dermatologist is bound to fail. At Nu Vela Vein Center, Dr. Dishakjian’s approach is to permanently treat the underlying cause of the varicose veins by carefully identifying all the sources of the problematic leg veins, such as incompetent saphenous and perforator veins, as well as the visible varicose veins to give you not only the best possible treatment outcome in the short term, but also the lowest possible chance of recurrence in the long term.
Pregnancy and Leg Vein Treatment
Women who plan to have children should treat their varicose veins before pregnancy, since complications such as clotting and bleeding can develop during pregnancy and varicose veins get worse. Many leg veins that appear during pregnancy may disappear or improve significantly after delivery, but those already present will usually not fully recover to their state before pregnancy and the condition will generally worsen with subsequent pregnancies.
Cost of Leg and Foot Vein Treatment and Insurance Coverage
The cost of leg vein treatment will depend on the nature of your problematic veins and their number. Spider vein treatment cost will be determined by the time the doctor devotes to eliminating these veins. The cost of varicose vein removal on the other hand, varies depending on the complexity of the work needed and the number of veins that have to be eliminated. Three quarters of the fee paid for Ultrasound test is reimbursed once patients receive varicose vein treatment. Note that insurance companies consider sclerotherapy a cosmetic treatment and accordingly do not cover the cost of spider vein removal. However, most PPO health plans and Medicare cover the cost of minimally invasive varicose vein treatment procedures when the treatment is medically necessary. The best approach is to check with your insurance company before considering your treatment options.