Medical Minute 5-24: Golden Cure for Varicose Veins

By: Ramin Khalili Email
By: Ramin Khalili Email

The job took a real toll on interior designer Christie Cooper.

"You're just … legs just feel like they get tired and heavy … and you just wanna sit down and put 'em up," said Christie Cooper.

Turns out her varicose veins were making daily life impossible

"Well, they had progressively gotten bigger and bigger throughout the years. "So … it was really time to start thinking about … taking them out."

Doctor Alan Wladis from the Vascular Institute of Central Florida had the answer. This new gold-tipped laser fiber eradicates the vein with little risk or pain for patients.

"It's the misery of going through the day with 10 pound weights on their legs … is what people complain about," said Dr. Alan Wladis Vascular Institute of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.

The heated tip is routed up the leg with ultra-sound guidance as it burns out the vein. But while the older, bare fiber tip cuts the vein - the gold tip coagulates it. The new method also offers less concentrated heat. That means less risk of puncturing the vein - and less pain, too. And overall - it's 98% effective.

"They're up … walking out of your office - and they're back to their normal work in … a day - 4 days at the most."

Doctor Wladis knows the difference. On the left is the needle-sized fiber used now. On the right - the painful tool used just a few years ago to strip out varicose veins entirely. As for Christie …

"Been a really good thing … and … [I'm] much more comfortable at the end of the day."

… you can see the difference. Now, she's back to moving and working like her old self.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.

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BACKGROUND: Swollen veins that bulge above the surface of the skin in a twisted fashion, and are usually a dark blue or purple color are known as varicose veins. The swelling is the results of faulty valves in the veins that allow blood to flow to the heart; the valves stop working, and blood accumulates, stretching and widening the veins. Varicose veins usually develop on the back of the calves, or thighs of women, but men are also susceptible. Heredity, age, weight, and hormonal changes are common examples of why an individual might develop varicose veins. Some individuals may experience aching, burning, heaviness, tiredness, cramps and itching in the legs, and in others, there may not be any pain at all. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)

THE GOLDEN CURE: One of the newest ways of getting rid of varicose veins is through the use of a laser beaming fiber with a golden tip. The tiny fiber is inserted into the problematic vein, and the golden tip works in two ways: it acts as a buffer between the fiber and the vein to reduce any chance of perforation, and it increases the tips visibility under the ultrasound. The entire laser is covered with a thin layer of glass tubing to ensure less concentrated heat, and a minimal chance of cutting the vein. The laser burns the vein, causing it to collapse, and the unsightly appearance to vanish. Clinical trials have shown that this type of laser reduces pain and bruising on patients. (SOURCE: www.healthnews.org)

TREATING VARICOSE VEINS: Surgical treatment for varicose veins is less invasive, and generally done on an outpatient basis. If you can’t make it to see the doctor any time soon, some helpful suggestions for increasing blood circulation, and decreasing the pain caused by varicose veins are: (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com)

• Exercise by walking more
• Take several short breaks to elevate your legs throughout the day
• Avoid wearing heels, and tight clothing or undergarments
• Watch your weight and your diet
• Avoid long periods of sitting and standing
• Do not sit with your legs crossed.

For More Information, Contact:
Chris Gale
Vascular Institute Of Central Florida
cgale@evegroup.com


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