Varicose veins (varices) are dilated veins located in the subcutaneous adipose tissue that are the result of a malfunction of the venous valves. Basically, veins are responsible for collecting used, deoxygenated blood and transporting this back to the heart. This occurs via the muscle movement in our legs (muscle pump) and the venous valves, which ensure that the blood in the veins is pumped in only one direction: to the heart. In the case of varicose veins, the function of these valves has been disrupted; just under the skin they lack sufficient muscle pressure, causing the blood to flow downward when one is standing.
In combination with a congenital weakness in the connective tissue, the venous valves no longer close completely, leading to unpleasant venous congestion in many patients. The extent and impact of this disorder varies, and each patient’s situation and treatment will be determined and explained following a medical examination. While varicosis refers to disorders in the large and important saphenous veins, spider veins refer to the extended side branches of the saphenous veins. Usually only the saphenous veins are operated on, while the remaining smaller varices simply fade away.
Because varicose veins are often caused by a hereditary predisposition, and because these factors cannot be eradicated, varicose veins can recur in some patients after a period of time.
The most important goal in the vein treatment is the elimination of congestion in the veins and the consequent improvement in blood circulation, as this enables painless mobility, an important factor for a person’s overall well-being.
Endovenous laser treatment
Endovenous laser therapy is an established, modern and minimally invasive procedure that is ideally suited for the treatment of varicose veins. In many cases, this can replace or avoid a stripping operation. In this procedure, a laser catheter is inserted into the diseased vein without incisions and the vein is then closed with a 1470 nm laser.
Unfortunately, not all public health insurance companies take over the therapy. Just talk to us about whether this procedure is possible with your health insurance company. Private health insurers usually bear the costs without any problems. If you are legally insured and would like to cover the costs yourself, you will have to reckon with costs starting from 1400 EUR, depending on the findings and the veins to be treated.
When operating on saphenous veins, we also employ the long-established procedure of vein stripping with great success; it is a common and proven surgical procedure.
The saphenous vein is accessed via an incision in the groin and then removed by first threading a wire into the vein and guiding the wire through the vein to a cut farther down the leg. The wire is then tied to the vein and pulled out through another cut lower down, taking the vein out with it. This must be done very carefully so that only the damaged vein is removed and no accompanying structures, so that only a tiny incision wound is created.
We puncture the varicose veins using extremely fine needles, with which we inject a minute amount of a sclerosing agent, i.e., aethoxysklerol, into the vein. This is diluted with a saline solution in order to avoid adverse reactions (the salt occasionally causes a slight burning sensation).
The effect of the sclerosing agent can be best described as a “bonding” of the vein walls from the inside, so that the unsightly fissures, i.e., spider veins, are no longer visible after treatment and healing.
The mechanical pressure from swabs, which, after sclerosing, are pressed on the puncture site and wrapped with a compression bandage, is intensified and further strengthened through the bonding effect.
To ensure that the treatment is effective, the bandage should be left on for at least 24 hours and only thereafter removed by the patient. Normally, patients can carry on with their regular activities immediately after treatment; unusual strains (e.g., leg lifts with weights, jogging or longer periods of dancing and standing, etc.) should be avoided.