Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 28, 2020

Devices Used to Treat Varicose Veins




Varicose veins are an unpleasant condition that affect up to 30% of all adults globally. Causes can be many and varied but until fairly recently, the treatments have been limited. That situation is, happily, changing and in the modern day, there are many new ways in which to address the issue.

Varicose veins are, at best, unsightly and in some cases they can be exceptionally painful so the introduction of new treatments is being gratefully received by patients.

The Past

Surgery has been seen as a last resort for varicose veins sufferers and the option still exists. For many, the condition doesn’t actually produce any pain but there are those cosmetic concerns over what is a very unsightly problem. If the patient wanted to deal with the visual issue or, the pain simply took over, surgery would be there to step in.

The procedure is an invasive one which strips out the veins. It can come with unwanted side effects including deep vein thrombosis and there have been high recurrence rates.

Other treatments have existed including the use of support stockings and for mild sufferers; the simple practise of elevating the legs can provide temporary relief. Treatments have, therefore, been varied but there has been a considerable gap for new technology to occupy and in 2020, it’s arriving at a significant rate.

The Present and Future

Along with a number of conditions, laser treatment is now being used to address this issue and the technique is currently being carried out at a varicose vein clinic near you. It’s one of a number of non-invasive methods that are presently available and it’s important to understand that there are many options to explore as viable alternatives to surgery.

The majority of these techniques have been around for some time and, in fact, we can trace basic ligation surgery all the way back to the 20th century. In the modern day, it’s rare for any innovative vein treatment options to come out but recent developments have changed the approach of many practitioners.

Natural Approach

A new product released in 2016 offers a new way of looking at varicose vein treatment. Known as BioVena, the device is used to promote the body’s natural healing process and it can be used to address a number of issues including leg wounds and leg ulcers.

A thermal device, just one injection is needed pre-activation and that’s another big positive for patients.

Research

Nigel Phelan, one of the co-founders of the BioInnovate Fellowship at NUI Galway who developed BioVena stated:

“When we were researching potential interventions, we spent time in various hospitals and saw people in tears even before their procedures began because of the series of painful anaesthetic injections they had to go through first.

“This got us thinking about how to take away that pain element and with BioVena, once the area is anaesthetised with one injection, the patient feels nothing because there are no pain nerves inside the veins.”

This is clearly good news but BioVena is just one of a number of ways in which varicose veins can be treated without the need for painful surgery or anaesthetic procedures. We’ve come a long way since the 19th century but prospective patients can still play their part, long before any potential procedures kick in.

Prevention Techniques

It’s clear that in the modern day, surgery to treat varicose veins can be seen as a last resort. It is possible; however, that some practises may see this as a default method so it’s important to find a progressive varicose vein clinic that is versed in all of the modern techniques.

In the meantime, there is much that can be done to prevent the condition as opposed to waiting around for varicose veins to strike. Simple exercises can help to boost circulation and many require little in the way of time or investment. Walking for 30 minutes a day is a basic way to start and this can be enhanced by specific leg crunches to increase the health benefits.

Swimming and Yoga are two more channels to explore for those who are concerned about the potential onset of varicose veins. If they do strike, there are more methods available to treat the condition than ever before.








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