They may be unsightly at times, but treating varicose veins is not a mere cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Left unchecked, they can lead to serious health issues such as venous leg ulcers and blood clots.
Varicose veins affect about 20 percent of adults and half of those aged 50 or older. Common in women during or immediately following pregnancy and in patients who have a family history of the condition, varicose veins are often characterized by achiness, heaviness, and fatigue in the affected area (typically the legs), itchiness, numbness, and swelling.
“When veins are healthy and working properly, they return blood to the heart for reoxygenization. But when valves in the veins fail – or become damaged or leak – some of the blood flows in a backward direction rather than toward the heart, accumulating in the veins,” says Sanjeeva Kalva, M.D., leader of UT Southwestern’s Interventional Radiology team, who gained extensive experience in vein care at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It’s not a condition anyone has to live with. Our targeted treatments take care of the source of the disease rather than just the symptoms.”
UT Southwestern interventional radiologists have been at the forefront of diagnosing and treating varicose veins. “We treat all stages of varicose veins with minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedures that offer little or no pain or recovery time,” Dr. Kalva says. “We offer all available treatments under one roof, using the latest, most advanced ablation equipment.”
According to Dr. Kalva, the most common treatments include:
- Compression stockings – reduce symptoms and prevent progression of varicose veins
- Endovenous (vein) ablation – seals failed valves with lasers
- Sclerotherapy – shrinks varicose veins with injections
- Microphlebectomy – removes varicose veins with a tiny nick
Schedule an Appointment
For more information or to make an appointment with an interventional radiology specialist, call 214-645-8300.