By: Dr. Craig Crippen
Do Away with Unsightly Varicose Veins
My grandma hates her legs. She simply hates them. She’s the only person I know who won’t put on a pair of shorts for the entire summer season. “It’s hot grandma,” I inform her at least once a week. No obvious warning of the day’s heat makes any difference to her. Her legs are staying covered no matter what.
“Don’t worry about me” or “I’m just fine in these” will be the retorts she most often provides. The real reason my grandma wears pants all summer long? Varicose veins. She considers them to be unsightly. And while I’ve honestly never gotten much of a good look at the veins in her legs, it’s obvious she’s pretty uncomfortable with having them.
Looking up treatments out there to help with these “unsightly” veins, I discovered Endovenous Laser Treatment or “EVLT” for short. This is a procedure that treats varicose veins, leaves no scarring and has a very short recovery time. Unlike the type of standard surgical procedure that removes other unwanted growths, EVLT uses ultrasound technology and not a scalpel.
You can’t tell that to my grandmother though! “I’m not going under the knife for anything!” she screamed at my suggestion she look into the procedure. Now, is it just me or is “elderly” a synonym for “stubborn”? Believe me, I love my grandmother, but I don’t know who gave her the impression that a knife would be involved. I certainly didn’t.
If she had just heard me out, she’d know that EVLT laser treatment actually involves having a fluid injected around the varicose veins to insulate other body tissues from the heat. It compresses the vein providing an anesthetic effect, making the entire process a painless one. Once this is done, a laser fiber is inserted into the vein. This seals the vein from the inside.
With the vein being closed, no blood can get in to further swell it up or create other veins. The closed up vein eventually dries up and disappears, helping for varicose veins to not be so “unsightly” anymore. Oh, how I wish grandma would have heard me through. Perhaps, I should have put my thoughts in writing and slipped a note under her bedroom door.
You can’t cut off a letter, right? Well, my grandmother is still one to interrupt me before I get to the point, when I discuss EVLT. You would figure that someone who is so embarrassed by the varicose veins in her legs would be all ears when someone brings up a possible solution to the problem.
Not so with grandma. But I’m glad I found some very useful information online to assist me with my knowledge of how to treat varicose veins. After all, if that condition runs in the family, I’ll need to make sure I’m aware of how to get rid of them! I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was unsightly…or stubborn!