Are you troubled by pain, cramping and “restless leg syndrome” and by unsightly varicose veins?  Drs. Mitchell, Mays, and Gutierrez are now able to treat venous insufficiency in the legs using state-of-the-art radiofrequency ablation in the new office of the Brazos Vein Institute at 2601 Osler Blvd. in Bryan.

Over 25 million people in the United States suffer from symptomatic venous insufficiency, the underlying cause of varicose veins in the legs.  Varicose veins are often mistakenly thought to be only a cosmetic condition when, in fact, they are usually a symptom of this disease.  This condition progressively damages the valves of the major vein and its tributaries and cosmetically disfigures the leg.

Varicose_vein_valves_thumb

Some common symptoms of venous insufficiency are:

  • Varicose veins
  • Burning or itching of the skin
  • Color and texture changes of the skin
  • Aching, tired or weak legs, especially after long periods of standing or sitting
  • Swollen legs and/or ankles (edema)
  • Poorly-healing wounds, such as skin ulcers commonly above the ankle

The doctors use the VNUS Closure procedure to permanently relieve these symptoms using lower temperature radio frequency waves rather than laser.  The procedure is done in an office setting under local anesthetic and it is covered by most health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.  Each leg will generally be done separately and the procedure will take approximately one hour per leg.  Patients will be up and about shortly after the procedure and will be expected to walk regularly after the procedure to promote healing.

Varicose_Before_After_thumb

                                    Before and 24 hours after treatment

Prior to undergoing the procedure, patients will be screened by ultrasound to confirm venous insufficiency because not all varicose veins result from this disease.  Also patients will be screened for conditions, such as “deep vein thrombosis” (DVT), for which this procedure is contraindicated.

A recent international clinical trial demonstrated long-term success in treatment of over 95% of patients after two-years.  In another international multi-center study comparing the VNUS Closure procedure to laser treatment, the Closure procedure has significantly less patient pain and bruising with fewer complications than laser.  As of January 2009, more than 450,000 patients have been safely treated with the VNUS Closure procedure.  However, because this is an invasive procedure, if venous insufficiency is confirmed, your insurance may require the use of conservative therapy in the form of compression stockings prior to undergoing the procedure.

We are now screening patients for venous insufficiency and reflux and beginning conservative therapy now.  To schedule a screening, please call our office at 979-774-4008 or speak to your cardiologist at your next visit. For more information about vein disease and this procedure, please visit the Brazos Vein Institute athttp://www.brazosvein.com.