September 7, 2011
About 25 million Americans have a venous disease, an illness that impacts the veins in your legs. It's typically found in pregnant women, people with a genetic predisposition or people who sit or stand for long periods of time.
Varicose veins are the most common result of the disease.
“The veins are bulging for a reason and it's due to increased pressure in the venous system. This leads to lots of pain, lots of swelling, burning, itching and more serious complications all the way down to skin pigmentation problems and ulcers,” said Dr. Kenneth Sternberg, a Cardiologist at Blue Ridge Heart & Vascular.
Until recently there were only a few options for treating unsightly veins. Now Dr. Sternberg says a new procedure called VNUS closure will have patients wanting to show their legs again.
“We make a needle puncture just below the knee where the vein starts. Then we basically run a catheter up the vein and the device heats the wall of the vein. As we heat the vein up the wall closes behind it,” he explained.
Unlike vein stripping and other surgical procedures, Dr. Sternberg says VNUS has a much faster recovery time.
“The venous closure has much less bleeding, bruising and tenderness and patients get back to work a lot quicker,” he said.
Dr. Sternberg says some patients see changes as early as two days after the procedure. In fact, 96 percent of patients have vein closure after two years.
If left untreated venous disease could cause serious circulatory problems. So, if you want to keep your legs and the rest of your body in great shape, Dr. Sternberg suggests keeping an eye on veins and visiting your doctor if you notice any changes.