Weak, damaged, or dysfunctional valves in your leg veins can’t keep blood flowing efficiently from your lower extremities back to your heart. Known as venous insufficiency, this condition sets the stage for varicose vein formation and other problems related to poor circulation.

At Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic in Shenandoah, Texas, our skilled vascular experts provide comprehensive care — including minimally invasive vein removal treatments — for people affected by venous insufficiency and problematic varicose veins.

Here, board-certified nurse practitioner and seasoned varicose vein specialist Eliza Codd, ARNP, FNP-BC, AG-ACNP-BC, CLS, explains how endovenous ablation resolves varicose veins, improves lower extremity circulation, and protects your health.

The problem with poor circulation

Your veins carry deoxygenated blood from your body back to your heart and lungs. They contain a series of one-way valves to keep blood flowing efficiently and in the right direction.

Venous insufficiency begins when vein valves become weak or damaged and no longer function normally. Instead of flowing through them at a normal rate, blood repeatedly pools behind the dysfunctional valves and exerts pressure on the surrounding vessel wall.

When this process meets increased blood pressure (i.e., from carrying excess weight or standing for long stretches), or when it combines with sluggish blood flow (i.e., from too much sitting or lack of activity), it’s more likely to cause sustained vascular damage — the kind that makes your vein swell, twist, and contort, or become varicose.

Recognizing venous insufficiency

When this problem persists, it’s called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). As many as two in five adults (40%) in the United States have CVI. Although anyone can develop it, it’s most common among older adults and women.

Before CVI triggers the formation of noticeable varicose veins, it may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Leg heaviness or cramping
  • Tingling sensations in your legs
  • Sporadic or ongoing leg pain

You may also experience leg discomfort when you’re standing that eases substantially when your legs are elevated. At this stage, the right treatment approach can help you slow or stop CVI advancement and prevent serious complications.

Complications of leg vein damage

Without treatment, however, CVI tends to worsen and progress, giving rise to more serious problems. CVI-related complications — which are also regarded as late-stage symptoms of moderate to severe CVI — include:

Varicose veins

When sluggish blood flow behind a dysfunctional vein valve puts increased pressure on the surrounding vessel wall for months on end, the vein eventually swells, twists, and distorts into a gnarled, rope-like viscosity.

Venous ulcers

Persistently high vein pressure can also cause fluid-related leg swelling (edema) that starves overlying skin tissues of oxygen and nutrients. This process can lead to skin changes (i.e., skin discoloration, itchiness) and the eventual formation of slow-healing sores called venous ulcers.

Endovenous ablation treatments

Luckily, the right self-care strategies can help you manage CVI and slow its progression. In any stage of CVI, it can be helpful to:

  • Avoid long stretches of sitting or standing
  • Get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise each day
  • Lose excess body weight and quit smoking
  • Wear compression stockings to aid circulation
  • Switch to a heart-healthy, low-sodium diet

But for as much as these strategies can improve CVI, they can’t effectively address varicose veins. Luckily, we can — and we offer a full scope of minimally invasive, endovenous ablation treatment options to help you get rid of problematic varicose veins.

Endovenous ablation, also known as venous ablation, can be done with a sclerosing agent (chemical ablation) or thermal radiofrequency energy (RF ablation). Despite taking different approaches, each venous ablation technique has the exact same objective: To seal off a problematic vein so it eventually fades away.

Endovenous RF ablation is particularly helpful for treating superficial venous reflux, or varicose veins that have become swollen, cramped, and painful. Let’s take a closer look:

Minimally invasive

All endovenous ablation techniques are minimally invasive, meaning we only need to use a local anesthetic and make one small incision to access the treatment area.

Ultrasound guided

Next, we use vascular ultrasound imaging to help us guide a very thin catheter into the vein.

Targeted thermal energy

This special catheter delivers controlled thermal energy to the vessel wall, causing it to shrink and contract. As we slowly withdraw the catheter, the targeted vein effectively collapses in on itself and seals shut.

Ultrasound confirmed

Before you leave our office, we confirm complete vein closure with a final vascular ultrasound. We also make sure your blood has rerouted to nearby, healthy veins as expected.

To learn more about the vein treatment options at Woodlands Vein Center & Preventative Medicine Clinic in Shenandoah, Texas, call 281-939-5915 today. You can also use the easy online booking feature to request an appointment with our vascular experts any time.

Call Us Text Us
Skip to content