New Advances in Venous Disease Offers Patients Less Invasive Treatment Solutions

Do your legs ache, hurt, or swell by the end of the day? These are  all symptoms of venous disease. Approximately 30%of the US population, or 25 million people will develop venous insufficiency or “venous reflux disease.” Complications such as phlebitis (inflammation), blood clots, infections, or ankle ulcers can occur in those that develop advanced venous disease.

There are new options for treating this common disorder that offer an outpatient, less invasive solution with quick recovery and excellent results. Normally, the job of the veins is to bring blood back to the heart and lungs. Healthy veins in the legs function as one-way valves, keeping blood moving upwards in the right direction. In people who develop venous disease, the veins become “insufficient”, allowing blood to leak backwards away from the heart and pool in the legs. The veins become congested causing aching, throbbing, heaviness, burning, and swelling. In advanced cases, this can progress to skin rashes, inflammation, infection, and ulceration. It is recommended that all patients with venous disease should be wearing compression stockings, participate in weight loss and exercise, and elevate the legs on a daily basis. There are now new procedures that can provide a minimally invasive, simple, and effective treatment of this common condition. Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure performed in our office, with no general anesthesia, and no recovery time.

A small catheter is introduced through a small needle-stick into the diseased vein. The catheter delivers radiofrequency (heat) energy to the vein causing it to collapse and seal. This novel procedure causes no pain or bruising and essentially has replaced previous surgical operations in the treatment of venous disease. The procedure is performed in usually less than one hour and the patient is able to resume normal activities immediately. If you have symptoms and suspect venous disease please talk with your doctor. The vascular specialists at Tri-City Cardiology can provide a comprehensive assessment of venous disease and develop a patient-specific treatment plan.

M. Joshua Berkowitz, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I., F.S.V.M