Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, and other vein disorders, affect over 60% of Americans. BayCare provides the community with several Vein Centers throughout the Tampa Bay area in order to administer the latest non-invasive vascular treatments.

One of today’s most popular treatments for varicose veins is endovenous laser therapy. Endovenous laser therapy is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional vein stripping. The procedure takes less than an hour, has a relatively pain-free recovery, can be performed under local anesthesia, and leaves no scarring.

A thin laser fiber is inserted into the vein using a special tube called a sheath. Laser energy is used to help the fiber pull through the vein. The energy heats the vein, which causes it to shrink, collapse, and seal. Healthy veins will take over and redirect the blood flow back to the heart.

Walking is encouraged immediately after the procedure, but strenuous activity is discouraged and compression socks must be worn for 30 days after surgery. This therapy proves successful for the majority of patients, although individuals with especially severe varicose veins may require additional treatments or alternative methods.

Varicose Veins: Symptoms and Causes

Veins carry blood throughout the body and back to the heart. The veins in the legs have a one-way valve that helps the blood flow up toward the heart, against gravity.

Due to age, gender, heredity, and other health conditions, the walls of these veins can weaken and those valves can fail to close. This causes the blood to pool making the veins bulge and twist. Bulging and twisting in the veins can cause pain, leg fatigue, and leg heaviness.

The pooling of blood causes swollen feet and ankles, itching, skin changes, and excessive bleeding with minor cuts. If left untreated varicose veins could cause more chronic conditions like ulcerations.

Further Information about Laser Treatments

BayCare Vein Center professionals perform a comprehensive evaluation where the risks and benefits of endovenous laser treatments are explained. To find out which Vein Center is near you or to schedule an appointment, visit one of the following local facilities in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Dunedin, Plant City, Safety Harbor and surrounding areas.