Varicose veins occur to due a condition known as Venus Reflux disease. “This is a disease where valves in the surface veins are not functioning, says Dr. Arun Goyal of Vascular Associates of Westchester in Hawthorne. In turn, the blood flow is reversed and the blood pools up in distended veins instead of traveling to the heart. Once addressed with a procedure called Phlebectomy, which stripped the vein right of the leg and resulted in a long painful post operative recovery, today’s modern methods keeps the patient awake and has them up and walking the same day.
Applying compression bandages after the in office procedure, getting the right grip helps optimize the time it takes for the patient to recover. “We test it out,” he says, as patients get up off the table to determine the proper bandage tightness it takes for them to walk about.
Upon leaving for home, they wear the bandages for about four days, which amounts to the hardest part of this. “I tell patients all the time that the most uncomfortable part of this procedure is to keep the bandages on for that long,” he says.
Of course, the application of a local anesthesia rather than being put under with a general makes everyone rest easier in terms of safety. Aside from the complications that can arise in an operating room, since patients are awake, they can still move - thus less stagnation occurs in the blood and less chance of a clot forming.
Additionally, with the patient awake, they can report any pain due to the extreme heat of the laser. As a result, the surgeon can pinpoint the beam as to not cause damage to surrounding tissue.
Unfortunately, old procedure or new, the veins can grow back but the chances of that are far slimmer with the procedures of today. In turn, the best way to prevent a recurrence is to avoid what most likely caused the problem in the first place. Being overweight or standing or sitting in the same place for long periods are usually the culprit. “Be active,” he says, and keep the circulation in the legs moving, he adds.
Having done about 2000 of these so far at Vascular Associates, the challenge is moving forward at the same pace as the times. “You have to keep up with the new technology and adapt to it,” he says.
But in the end, the rewards of making a difference in the lives of others is something that always stays the same. What I like is that we are able to improve the lives of so many of our patients, he concludes.
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