In-office varicose vein procedure beats a long hospital stay

Published: Dec. 5, 2014 at 2:55 PM CST|Updated: Sep. 26, 2016 at 5:51 PM CDT
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New varicose vein treatments no longer require long hospital stays. (Source: WAFF)
New varicose vein treatments no longer require long hospital stays. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Christine Williams says she used to be in a lot of pain.

"I came in originally because I was having swelling and heaviness in my legs and feet," she said. "My feet were swelling so bad that I couldn't wear a regular shoe."

The problem was in her varicose veins. She decided to see a vascular surgeon. Vein specialist. Dr. Tracy Lowery said methods for a remedy have changed.

"In the past, the only treatment for varicose veins required major surgery. You're put to sleep, staying in a hospital," he said.

Dr. Lowery said this other procedure, endovenous, can be done in a doctor's office.

"It utilizes a catheter. It utilizes local anesthetic. It is a procedure that is an outpatient... after 15 minutes you're on your way back home," he explained.

He says most patients can go back to work the next day. But, he adds, there are some limits, such as avoiding weightlifting for a short period.

Williams said from the time she came in until she left, the procedure took about an hour. She said she left and went grocery shopping.

"It was for me, pain free. It worked. I no longer have the swelling in my legs. No swelling or heaviness or pain in my legs and I can wear my shoes again... after 2 years," she said.

The procedure is less invasive and you don't have a huge scar.

The bottom line is saving pain, money and recuperation time.

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