Veins are blood vessels that serve as one–way pathways for blood to circulate throughout your body, directing it toward your heart. Flaps, or valves, in healthy veins open and close to maintain the proper direction of blood flow. However, these valves typically malfunction if you have venous insufficiency, a type of venous disease. Blood may pool in some veins or flow backward when this occurs. Peripheral Vein Disease (PVD) is another term that doctors may use to describe venous disease.
Treatments for venous illness reduce the risk of complications and restore normal blood flow. Medication, catheter–based techniques, and surgery are some of these treatments. Your treatment plan is developed by your provider depending on the specific type of venous disease you have.
Types of venous disease
- Blood clots
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Superficial thrombophlebitis
- Varicose and spider veins
Nonsurgical venous disease treatments
Doctors may combine nonsurgical therapies with other procedures like surgery, or they may utilize them alone. Among them are:
- Anticoagulation: These blood–thinning drugs can be used to treat blood clots and DVT, among other venous diseases.
- Compression stockings: By applying light pressure to your legs, these socks can help keep blood from accumulating in your veins. Spider veins, varicose veins, and DVT may all be managed with the use of compression stockings.
- Lifestyle changes: To assist manage specific types of venous disease, your provider can advise regular activity, such as walking, elevating your legs, or weight loss.
- Sclerotherapy: This is a varicose vein therapy especially. A strong salt solution is injected straight into the varicose vein by your doctor. You can no longer feel or see the vein because of the solution’s ability to induce it to collapse.
Catheter-based peripheral venous disease treatments
When you receive therapy with a catheter, your doctor inserts a small tube into your body to deliver the medication. Because catheter–based therapies involve tiny incisions, healing times are often brief and problems are rare. Among these methods are:
- Angioplasty: Your doctor places a catheter into your vein and blows up a little balloon at the end. This balloon expands the vein, enhancing blood flow. A stent, or tube, may also be inserted by your physician to maintain the vein’s opening.
- Catheter–directed thrombolytic therapy: Your doctor will administer thrombolytics (drugs that dissolve blood clots) directly into a blood clot using a catheter. The clot is dissolved by the drug within a few hours or days.
- Endovenous thermal ablation (laser therapy): Your doctor seals off a faulty vein with heat or a laser. When a vein collapses, other healthy veins assume the responsibility of maintaining blood flow.
- Vena cava filter: The vena cava, a sizable vein in your torso, gets this little, umbrella–shaped filter. Blood clots are prevented from moving to your heart or lungs by the filter. Depending on your demands, your vena cava filter may be permanent or temporary.
Reasons for undergoing the surgical venous disease treatments
For venous disease, you might require surgery if:
- Less invasive methods haven’t proved effective for you.
- Venous disease makes it difficult to go about your daily activity. You run the chance of having a pulmonary embolism or DVT.
Options for surgical care include:
- Ligation and stripping: A varicose vein is removed or tied off by your provider. Sometimes your doctor will use a minimally invasive technique to remove the vein. Another name for this is endoscopic vein removal.
- Subfascial Endoscopic Perforator Surgery (SEPS): Chronic venous ulcers (sores) brought on by damaged veins in your lower legs are treated with this operation. To isolate the injured, perforating veins from the surrounding tissues, your doctor utilizes a tiny balloon. After that, the perforating veins are clipped, allowing blood to flow from the unhealthy veins into the healthy ones.
- Surgical bypass: Through this process, a blood vessel blockage is circumvented by rerouting blood flow. Using a graft (tube), your provider opens up a new blood passage. A synthetic tube or a portion of your vein could be used as the graft.
Every treatment plan has advantages and disadvantages of its own. Bleeding is one of the negative effects of blood thinners. Infection is one of the rare consequences that might arise after procedures and surgeries. However, the advantages of venous disease therapies typically exceed the disadvantages. Based on your particular medical needs, your doctor will explore whether a treatment is appropriate for you.
If you’re having issues or experiencing side effects after beginning blood thinners or undergoing surgery, get in touch with your healthcare provider. They can often adjust your prescription or assist you in controlling pain and other post–procedural effects.
Within a few days following a catheter–based operation, you can normally resume your regular activities. Your age, general health, and the kind of treatment you had will all affect how long it takes you to recuperate. It could take up to two weeks to fully recuperate from surgery, such as a SEPS operation.