Through Dr. Sudheendra’s many years of experience as a cardiovascular surgeon, he has found that many patients have similar questions and has provided answers to those common questions below.
Please feel free to browse through these frequently asked questions to become more familiar with some of the procedures offered at the Vein Center of Northeast Ohio, Ltd. However, we do recommend that you contact our office to schedule a consultation to gain a deeper understanding of these procedures.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are varicose veins and what causes them?
Most people are surprised to learn that varicose veins are actually the result of a leaky valve associated with a genetically predisposed weakness in the vein walls. Some of these are aggravated by prolonged standing, pregnancy, weight gain, and sometimes appear as a consequence of deep vein thrombosis in the past. Veins that are functioning normally will move blood in a single direction towards the heart from the feet. Valves that exist in the veins allow this flow by opening to allow blood to pass through, and then closing to prevent backward flow, causing leakage. When a valve fails to close completely, varicose veins result with associated engorgement of the veins and swelling. The blood will accumulate in the veins of the leg with consequent bulging and pooling, which causes symptomatic varicose veins. The failure of these valves can result from a number of causes, including aging and inheritance.
How will the blood get back to my heart after the physician removes the varicose veins and the veins are sealed off?
The varicose veins are generally inefficient, dilated veins causing backward flow away from the heart. The abnormal flow in such veins causes stagnation. Removal of these veins only improves the circulation in the affected limb. This relief of reflux or pooling causes significant improvement in symptoms inclusive of tiredness, heaviness in the limbs, and sometimes even provides a good night’s sleep. This is because of re-routing of the blood flow through healthier deep veins.
If my saphenous vein is removed, what will the surgeons use for heart bypass?
Since saphenous veins are the commonly affected superficial veins and the common veins used for heart bypass, it is reasonable for one to ask such a question. A normal saphenous vein with healthy valve can always be used for coronary artery bypass or for bypass of arterial diseases. Therefore, saphenous veins that are varicose cannot be used and there are other options available for the heart surgeon in the form of free grafts involving radial artery as well as arteries inside the chest wall.
What causes skin ulcerations?
Skin ulceration is caused by chronic venous insufficiency and associated with stasis dermatitis and pigmentation. The veins that cause increased blood pressure will result in decreased arterial perfusion and consequently cause skin necrosis due to diminished oxygen in the tissues. The skin also becomes thick and leathery and until such venous problems are treated, the above condition persists.
Is there any danger of damage to the circulatory system after endovenous laser therapy?
The ablation of the involved saphenous vein actually has a positive effect on circulation, as the blood will be diverted through veins, which retain normally functioning valves.
How long does the procedure take?
From beginning to end, the entire procedure can be accomplished in under an hour, generally performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia.
Does endovenous laser therapy involve a long downtime?
Again, because it is minimally invasive, you can leave the office on your own two feet and resume normal activities within a few hours. For more rigorous activities like exercise, aerobics, or swimming, you should wait for two weeks following the procedure. Exposure to the sun and hot baths should also be avoided during this same period of time. We will provide you with a compression stocking to wear for these two weeks that will encourage blood flow through the deeper veins. The compression stockings will be provided for a nominal fee, which the third party carriers generally do not reimburse.
Is this procedure as effective as traditional vein stripping?
Vein stripping is a very invasive procedure, and must be performed in a hospital with general anesthesia. This involves multiple incisions from the groin to the ankle, in an attempt to remove the involved veins. This is painful and requires considerable recovery time. Due to its minimally invasive and virtually pain free nature, endovenous laser therapy as well as VNUS closure procedures are desirable. Clinical studies have shown that recurrent rates of varicose veins are actually less likely after the above endovenous procedures than after painful vein stripping procedures.
Is there anyone that is not a good candidate for endovenous laser therapy?
Women should not have this procedure within three months of pregnancy, and generally no patient should have these procedures three months after a major surgical procedure. Also, those patients who suffer from deep vein thrombosis should be adequately treated prior to consideration of any endovenous procedure.
Will my treatment be covered by my insurance?
While many insurance companies will cover the treatment of vein diseases associated with substantial pain and skin changes, it is the individual company that decides whether they will cover the treatment or not. If your insurance company deems the procedure as cosmetic, then it is not covered. The Vein Center will often obtain precertification from your carrier prior to performance of the procedure.
Are there any potential complications with this procedure?
While there is the potential for complications, they are extremely rare. Possible complications may include blood clots, temporary tenderness or tightness of the skin, occasional rare skin burns, numbness, tingling, and minimal pain in some situations.
What makes Dr. Sudheendra and the Vein Center of Northeast Ohio, Ltd. the right clinic for my procedure?
Dr. Sudheendra has over 30 years of experience as a cardiovascular surgeon in the tri-county area and has the knowledge and experience to perform the procedure as quickly and painlessly as possible. He has received additional training in the field of phlebology under world-renowned physicians such as Dr. Ronald Bush of the Mid West Vein Center in Dayton, Ohio and Dr. John Kingsley of the Alabama Vascular & Vein Center in Birmingham, Alabama. These specialists have trained hundreds of qualified surgeons from all over the country to perform these endovascular procedures in the last five to seven years.