When a person suffers from severe varicose veins in the legs, surgical treatment may be the only option for resolving this problem. Endoscopic surgery may be advisable when the veins are close to the skin and are causing skin sores. Sores and skin ulcers can develop because the vein has become so large and deformed, and it leads to the skin over the vein becoming too thin. If a person bumps the affected leg against something such as a coffee table or a car door, the skin may rupture. Nicking the skin while shaving also can cause a skin ulcer that stubbornly won’t heal.
In addition to these issues, serious varicose veins also cause discomfort, aching and fatigue in the legs. The person is likely to become more sedentary, which tends to make the situation even worse. The veins are very noticeable, appearing raised and twisted.
Endoscopic surgery is less invasive than vein stripping, which involves actually removing the veins. During endoscopic vascular surgeron, the vascular surgeon makes a small incision in the skin and then threads a thin tube into the problem vein. The tube has a tiny camera that allows the doctor to view the vein on a computer screen. The doctor uses a surgical tool situated on the camera to close the varicose vein.
The body has so many other veins that closing off one or more varicose veins does not compromise blood flow. In fact, circulation now is improved because blood no longer pools in varicose veins. Those unhealthy veins have malfunctioning valves that prevent blood from flowing back to the heart after it is brought to the legs through the arteries.
A patient normally does not need to stay overnight in a hospital after having endoscopic vein repair, although general anesthesia is typically used during the procedure. That means someone else should drive this person home after he or she is up and walking around.
Full recovery can take a few weeks. The individual can walk around soon after surgery, but should refrain from vigorous activity until the doctor says it’s OK. Gradually adding more exercise to the weekly routine is beneficial, since exercise helps prevent varicose veins from developing again. It also can stop existing varicose veins from becoming worse. Wearing compression stockings for a certain length of time after the operation may be required. The doctor will provide other instructions to speed healing and to keep the patient’s legs as healthy as possible in the future.