Varicose veins are blood vessels that have become so swollen that they appear on the surface of the skin, most commonly on the legs. They occur when the one-way valves that control blood flow stop working properly. Normally, these valves keep your blood moving in one direction (towards the heart). But if they become damaged by a vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), the valves can start to "leak," and let blood flow back into the veins and pool there.
Many people have varicose veins and do not experience any negative symptoms from them, other than their unattractiveness. But for many people, the impaired blood flow caused by CVI can result in chronic feelings of fatigue, or cause so much pain that walking or standing for long periods of time become almost impossible. Left untreated, varicose veins can cause even worse symptoms, as the skin covering them becomes brittle and discoloured, leaving the legs covered with open sores called leg ulcers.
Veins that have become varicose can't be repaired, but when vein specialists use modern interventional radiology techniques, there are a number of treatments that they can use to eliminate varicose veins by closing the diseased veins permanently, so that they are no longer visible on the surface of the skin. More important, they no longer cause adverse symptoms.
What is Endovenous Laser Therapy? (EVLT)
At Endovascular Consultants of Colorado, the procedure our top vein specialists use to treat varicose veins most often is called endovenous laser therapy, or EVLT. This is a procedure in which a tiny catheter is introduced directly into the veins via a pinprick, and is guided to the proper location. Then a tiny laser fibre is inserted, and uses heat to seal the veins permanently. Blood flow is re-routed to healthier veins in the area, and within a very short time the varicose veins disappear.
EVLT is a minimally-invasive procedure, performed in our comfortable office based laboratory, which means that there is no need to take time off work or go to a hospital. There is usually no need for "recovery time" because the procedures are so gentle that there is nothing to recover from.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Endovenous laser treatment allows our vein specialists in Lone Tree to completely visualize the procedure with ultrasound imaging, significantly reducing any complications. Any bruising, swelling or discomfort experienced afterward are temporary and can generally be controlled with prescribed medication.
Am I a Good Candidate for EVLT?
Serving the greater Denver area in Colorado, ECCO is led by two nationally respected board certified physicians, Dr. Kovaleski and Dr. Nutting. They perform varicose vein treatment in Denver Metro area and are experts in laser vein treatment. If you have questions like "how do varicose veins form," or "why are varicose veins found primarily in the legs," then we're happy to discuss any questions you have personally. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out if you are a candidate for endovenous laser treatment. During your consultation with your doctor, factors such as your health, medical history, and your overall vascular condition will be evaluated to determine if endovenous laser treatment is right for you.
Spider veins are typically a symptom of deeper venous insufficiency. At your consultation you will receive a full venous evaluation which is typically covered by insurance. Approximatley 90% of the time the evaluation will reveal a deeper vein issue. Insurance will typically cover treatments for deeper vein issues and during that treatment your spider veins will be treated as well included by insurance coverage. If no deeper venous issues are found spider veins can still be treated with self payment.
Insurance companies typically require patients to have tried compression stockings for 3 months prior to approving treatment for varicose veins. This is discussed during your initial consultation.
This depends on what treatment(s) are most appropriate for your venous issues. ECCO utilizes the latest technology for vein treatments. The newest treatment available (Radiofrequency Ablation) allows for treatment of veins with no need for compression stockings after treatment.
This depends on what treatment(s) you require. Several of our treatments allow you to have direct sun exposure immediately after the procedure. However with sclerotherapy it is advised to avoid prolonged direct sunlight exposure to the treated vein(s) for 6 weeks in order to avoid pigmentation.
If you have a venous evaluation where we can identify the underlying venous issues and treat the root cause appropriately then subsequent pregnancies typically do not result in recurrence of varicose veins. However, everyone is different and new veins problems can occur with any pregnancy.
If your veins are treated appropriately they should not return. Can new veins form in the future? Possibly. However new vein forming are unlikely if the underlying cause of your venous disease is found and treated. This is why we do thorough and complete venous evaluation at your initial consultation so we can address the true problem which will result in your veins being treated successfully and prevent new abnormal veins from appearing in the future.
Most patients go back to work the day following any procedure. With the laser ablation treatment patients can go back to work the same day as soon as they are done with their treatment.