Once a diagnosis of SVI has been made by duplex Doppler ultrasound, a treatment course can be planned that utilizes minimally-invasive, maximally comfortable techniques to improve the venous flow through the lower extremities. While surgical techniques such as ligation and stripping used to be the only option, the past decade has seen a shift to techniques that don’t require invasive surgical intervention. Rather than physically stripping veins out of the legs, endovenous techniques offer a way to elegantly leave veins where they are and treat them from the inside. Improperly functioning veins (see sections on Vein Physiology and Vein Pathophysiology for more info) can be sealed shut; flow can then be allowed to immediately redirect to other properly functioning veins.
In my practice, I have chosen to incorporate techniques that only require local anesthetic to perform. No sedation (medication that makes patients sleepy or disoriented) is needed. In fact, I would suggest that such medication may even increase the risks associated with treatments! During treatments, my patients and I listen to music, chat and have plenty of time to discuss questions…about veins in particular or life in general. There is no down time: patients may resume most normal activities, including work and exercise, immediately after treatment.