You don't have to endure leg pain, swelling or unsightly varicose veins.
Linda Mays visited an international pioneer in vascular and vein health who shows us how the latest technology in vein disorders treatment restores patients' quality of life.
Linda goes inside the surgical suite, so we want to warn you, the video you're about to see may be a little graphic.
Almost everyone has them-- spider veins,-- looking like-- dark red and blue strings of thread-- or varicose veins -- bulgy, blue, rope-like veins running up and down your legs.
Many people just don't like their appearance; plus, they are painful.
Vein and vascular surgeon, Dr. John Kingsley founder of Alabama Vascular & Vein Center says, "It's a sign that they have the genetic abnormal circulation of the vein valves. These valves that suppose to close are not closing-- and it's congesting the vein in the legs."
Dr. Kingsley is an internationally acclaimed pioneer in Vascular Health.
He says, the large abnormal veins increase the risk of a blood clot.
Leg pain is the reason 53 year old, Kay Maze decided to be evaluated by Dr. Kingsley.
Maze says, "In my daily routine it had gotten to the point where at the end of the day, my legs really hurt. I had sometimes some throbbing pain especially going upstairs."
Maze underwent laser treatment on varicose and spider veins in her left leg, two weeks ago.
She says, "The pain from the varicose veins is not there, there's no throbbing as I had before."
Dr. Kingsley says, pain is the first thing to go.
She's returned for treatment on her right leg and hoping for the same relief.
The X markings on the leg pinpoint the large saphenous vein.
Dr. Kingsley points out, "This is the bad saphenous vein. The little black round thing. That's the saphenous vein. We're gonna close it shut with the laser in a second."
An ultrasound monitor precisely guides the physician, while the patient is sedated.
After using a local anesthetic to numb the leg area, the surgeon makes a very small incision to insert a catheter into two areas of the leg vein.
Dr. Kingsley uses the Cool Touch laser energy for this minimally invasive procedure.
He states, this procedure offers less pain, less recovery time and a 99% success rate.
He says, "See the aiming beam tip of the laser."
The bright red laser fiber travels through the catheter to seal the vein shut.
Dr. Kingsley says, "It's like steam bubbles. The laser tip is hot. The serum is steaming inside the vein and it's destroying the vein."
Another machine pumps an anesthetic and saline solution to bathe the outside of the vein and cool down the temperature.
Once sealed, the varicose vein collapses and blood is rerouted to other healthy veins.
The vein is removed through a tiny puncture.
As for the spider veins on the patient's foot, you can see them just immediately disappear after an injection.
Dr. Kingsley says, early detection of abnormal vein circulation is key.
He says, "We fix the problem, and they are cured forevermore."
For many patients, like Kay Maze, that means a better quality of life-- walking without leg pain.
Maze says, "I have a three year old granddaughter, who's constantly on the go and wants me to play with her. That's what I want to be able to do."
The patient wears a compression hose for two weeks after surgery.
Dr. Kingsley says the swelling starts to go away within two to six weeks. Then by six months, the legs look dramatically better.
Most insurance cover the cost of treating genetic abnormal vein circulation.
Cosmetic vein treatments such as spider veins could cost the patient between $75.00 for a small area to $400.00 for front and back of the leg.
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