Do I Need That Vein?



If you’re considering varicose vein treatment, you probably have many questions. One common concern from patients is “do I need that vein?” The simple answer is “no” but we’ll explain why.


What Happens When the Vein is Removed

The body’s circulatory system, made up of the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood throughout the whole body, is vast. Once the diseased vein is removed, other healthy veins simply take over and continue blood flow throughout the leg. You won’t notice anything other than an improvement in your symptoms and appearance! In fact, your body has already been without that vein in a way because it wasn’t working properly. Once it is removed, overall circulation throughout the leg will improve.


Will I Need that Vein for Bypass Surgery?

Some patients may also be concerned about losing a particular vein, which could be used for a bypass in the future. During heart bypass surgery, a vein is removed from the leg and sewn into the heart to carry blood from the aorta to the coronary artery. If that vein has been removed during a varicose vein treatment then it would not be available for use in bypass surgery. However, if that vein was diseased and not working properly, then it could not have been used during a bypass operation anyway. Additionally, there are other options available for bypass surgery, as well as other procedures for heart patients including stents and angioplasty. For most patients, it’s best to treat the varicose veins. However, talk to your doctor about your individual risk and concerns.


Varicose Vein Treatment

The varicose vein treatment procedures offered by the interventional radiologists at Minneapolis Vein Center are safe and effective. The most common treatment is venous ablation a procedure in which a thin catheter or tube is inserted into the vein though a small opening.  The catheter delivers radiofrequency or laser energy to the vein wall causing it to heat, collapse and seal shut. Sclerotherapy is a treatment for spider veins; it involves your physician using a fine needle to inject a solution directly into the problematic veins. The solution starts a process that leads to the vein turning to scar tissue and fading from view. Phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique to remove abnormal medium to large veins.

To learn more about the treatment that’s right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced interventional radiologists.

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