Column: Don’t hide your legs this summer
Commentary by Jeffery P. Schoonover
Summer clothes are just around the corner, but you don’t have to hide your legs this year.
Are you unhappy with your legs’ appearance? Do you avoid wearing clothing that shows your legs? Are you experiencing swelling and discomfort in your legs? Do you have a network of spider veins crawling across your legs? Do you have bulging, twisted veins? This summer you can grab your shorts or bathing suit and enjoy the summer sun.
When we have varicose vein disease, valves in our legs do not work properly and allow some of the venous blood to flow backward and pool in our legs, resulting in bulging veins and symptoms such as pain, swelling, tiredness or redness. For those who have bulging veins or suffer from discomfort, treatment may be required to relieve their symptoms. Spider veins might not always cause discomfort but can be a cosmetic concern. Diagnostic ultrasound vein mapping should be performed to determine the abnormal areas of blood flow in both legs. With that information, a comprehensive treatment plan can be determined.
Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins. Under ultrasound guidance, a small laser fiber is inserted through the skin into the varicosed vein. Laser energy is delivered inside the vein, which causes the vein to collapse and seal shut. Once that vein is closed, the blood reroutes to other healthy veins. This procedure is done in-office under local anesthetic. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. Following the procedure, patients wear a compression stocking on their treated leg. Most patients return to work within a day or two; many return to work the same day. EVLT can also be accompanied by sclerotherapy, which is a straightforward strategy to treat any residual, problematic veins. This procedure uses a very small needle to inject a solution into the veins, which causes them to collapse and disappear.
Beyond the treatment’s obvious health benefits is the legs’ improved appearance. If you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins or are bothered by your legs’ appearance, a consultation is important. Treatment is easy and will dramatically improve your quality of life.
Jeffery P. Schoonover, M.D., FAAFP, RVT, RPVI
Indiana Vein Specialists
11876 Olio Rd., Suite 700
Fishers, IN 46037