Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Treatments

A board-certified cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Marvin Derrick serves as the director of Decatur Memorial Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Surgical Services. Dr. Marvin Derrick has performed numerous varicose vein treatment procedures and is a strong advocate of minimally invasive options.

For those who suffer from varicose veins, a number of recently developed therapies offer alternatives to the traditional vein stripping. Two such options, laser and radiofrequency ablation, are applied to the vein using a small catheter that surgeons introduce into the affected vessel. When the catheter is inside the vein, radio or laser energy causes the vein to heat, expand, and ultimately shrink. Then, instead of being surgically removed, the vein is reabsorbed by the tissues in the leg.

For varicose veins that appear closer to the surface, a procedure known as sclerotherapy is used to seal the vein and stop the swelling that characterizes the varicose condition. The procedure uses a chemical that irritates the vein, causing the vein walls to stick to one another and close the vein. The blood flow is then rerouted and the body reabsorbs the vein tissue. This is typically performed using a liquid compound, although larger veins may be treated using a recently approved foam that can cover more tissue area.

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