First Published: Profile Magazine. November 2014
Varicose veins and surface veins affect many women. These veins can be unsightly and may ache. They can also cause medical problems such as bleeding, blood clots and skin ulcers.
For many years veins have been treated with either injections (sclerotherapy) or surgery (for bigger varicose veins). In order to successfully treat most varicose veins with surgery the “feeding vein” is tied off or stripped and the varicose veins removed through very small incisions.
But now it’s become possible to avoid the stripping component of the treatment by using a technique called Endovenous Thermal Ablation (EVTA). EVTA uses a laser or radiofrequency energy to cause the feeding vein to constrict and ultimately block up. This stops the reverse blood flow in the feeding vein and reduces pressure on the varicose veins, which can be treated at the same time with very minor surgery or later on with injections.
Patients are able to return to their normal activities sooner. Scarring is also reduced as no large incisions are required.
Vascular surgeon Dr Karl Schulze, from Sunshine Vascular, is now able to offer these procedures to a wide variety of privately insured and non-insured patients.
Treatments take between 30 and 60 minutes with appropriate anaesthesia provided by an experienced anaesthetist to minimise any discomfort. After the treatment, the legs are bandaged and stockings applied. Day surgery and overnight stays are also possible.
Prior to undertaking any treatment for varicose veins, patients are assessed by Dr Schulze at the Sunshine Vascular Vein Clinic. It is important to understand that not all varicose veins are best treated with endovenous thermal ablation and by visiting an experienced Vascular Surgeon all available treatment options (including sclerotherapy, surgery or endovenous thermal ablation) can be discussed.