Leg Veins

Ingalls Vein Clinic

Laser Vein Ablation

This minimally invasive treatment is an outpatient procedure performed using imaging guidance. After applying local anesthetic to the vein, an Ingalls interventional radiologist inserts a thin catheter, about the size of a strand of spaghetti, into the vein, and guides it up the greater saphenous vein into the thigh. Laser or radiofrequency energy is then applied to the inside of the vein, heating and then sealing the vein closed. By closing the greater saphenous vein, the twisted and varicosed branch veins, which are close to the skin, shrink and improve in appearance. Once the diseased vein is closed, other healthy veins take over to carry blood from the leg, re-establishing normal flow.

Laser vein ablation is a quick, effective procedure that involves minimal discomfort and represents a vast improvement over the traditional option of vein stripping and ligation surgery that was often painful and required up to six weeks of recovery. After the procedure, a patient can literally walk out of the office and resume normal activities within 24 hours. Laser vein ablation boasts a 95% success rate.

Vein mapping helps determine if you are a candidate for laser vein ablation.

Ambulatory phlebectomy

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to treat varicose veins that are not caused by saphenous vein reflux. The abnormal vein is removed through a tiny incision or incisions using a special set of tools. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and typically takes less than an hour to perform. Recovery is rapid, and most patients do not need to interrupt regular activity after ambulatory phlebectomy.

Injection sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy treatment is a non-surgical procedure to remove varicose veins. The procedure involves injecting a solution directly into the vein, resulting in a reaction that progressively shrinks the varicose vein. If the vein is labeled as "diseased," it will typically necessitate several treatments to fully fade away. Of the various treatments available, many patients are finding sclerotherapy spider vein treatment to be an effective option. The sclerotherapy procedure typically takes between fifteen minutes to one hour, based on the number and overall length of the spider veins.

Peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).

Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs. Often, you can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Peripheral artery disease symptoms include:

  • Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after activity, such as walking or climbing stairs (intermittent claudication)
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other leg
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • Shiny skin on your legs
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

If peripheral artery disease progresses, pain may even occur when you're at rest or when you're lying down (ischemic rest pain). It may be intense enough to disrupt sleep. Hanging your legs over the edge of your bed or walking around your room may temporarily relieve the pain.

Peripheral artery disease is often caused by atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, fatty deposits (plaques) build up in your artery walls and reduce blood flow. Although the heart is usually the focus of discussion of atherosclerosis, this disease can and usually does affect arteries throughout your body. When it occurs in the arteries supplying blood to your limbs, it causes peripheral artery disease.

Less commonly, the cause of PAD may be blood vessel inflammation, injury to your limbs, unusual anatomy of your ligaments or muscles, or radiation exposure.

For more information about Ingalls Vein Center in Tinley Park, please call nurse navigator Kathy Wallace at 708.915.7518.

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