In an effort to keep health care professionals informed about advancements in the vascular field, including treatment options, Tucson Medical Center supports a monthly series dedicated to vascular disease. For October, Dr. Luis Leon from Agave Surgical spoke about state-of-the-art management of varicose vein disease to physicians, nurses and ultrasound technologists. While this disease is fairly common, it’s seen more frequently in older women, and tends to be hereditary. Other risk factors include obesity, oral contraceptives, multiple pregnancies, and constipation.
Varicose vein disease ranges from mild spider veins to bulging, painful veins to severe ulcers that are slow to heal. Dr. Leon says patients often try one unsuccessful fix after another, only to end up at the surgeon’s office with advanced stages of venous disease. “I think a lot of people attribute their leg aches and pains to getting older, but simple aging doesn’t explain leg pain. These people are unaware that they’re suffering from venous disease. Their problem can be fixed, and their life can be very different.”
That fix includes a simple office-based procedure that requires only local anesthesia. A radiofrequency ablation can be done during a patient’s lunch hour. Dr. Leon says, “ It was interesting to see the reaction of health care providers when they heard about the new way to treat this problem. The old way to treat this required anesthesia and an operation in the hospital. They were very surprised to hear that we can fix this problem in the office in about ten minutes.” He stresses the need for more awareness and education about this to general practitioners, other healthcare providers, and the public.
The internal vascular series will take a break for the rest of this year because of the upcoming holidays, but will resume in January.