Closing Time

Minimally invasive procedures repair damaged veins.

Rachael Becker is proof you don’t have to be of an adult age to get varicose veins. Rachael’s first varicose vein appeared when she was still in high school.

Patient photo courtesy of Rachael Becker.

Rachael Becker

“It was in my right calf, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say it sidelined me, but I played soccer in high school and when I played, I definitely noticed it,’’ Rachael says. “As time went on, the pain and swelling just got worse and worse.”

Now 36 and a single mother of three, Rachael eventually developed several bulging veins that grew decidedly worse every time she gave birth. Eventually, the pain and swelling in her legs became debilitating.
“They got so swollen and painful that it was hard to walk,’’ she says. “Going to theme parks, even taking the kids to the park was difficult.”

Rachael didn’t seek medical attention for the problem until after she woke up one day and could barely stand. A hospital visit resulted in the detection of a blood clot.

Advised to see a specialist to care for the blood clot, Rachael visited Sukhender Singireddy, MD, at Suncoast Vein & Vascular Clinic. After treating the clot, Dr. Singireddy took on the task of treating Rachael’s vein issues.

In-Office Solutions

“During my examination of Rachael’s legs, I found she had multiple bulging veins as well as leaking valves in the long vein running the length of her right leg, a condition known as venous insufficiency,’’ Dr. Singireddy says.

To correct the problem, an endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) was performed. EVLA uses heat energy to cauterize the vein. it is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that is performed under local anesthesia while the patient is slightly sedated.

Before and after images courtesy of Suncoast Vein & Vascular Clinic.“Once we clean and prep the legs, we insert a catheter into the defective vein,’’ Dr. Singireddy explains. “We then use ultrasound guidance to make sure the catheter is in the right location and advance the catheter all the way up to the groin.

“Through the catheter, we insert a very thin laser fiber up to the groin and apply local anesthesia around the defective vein. After that, we slowly withdraw the catheter, cauterizing the vein and basically shutting it down.”

Dr. Singireddy also removed the bulging veins that ran from Rachel’s thighs to her ankles using a microphlebectomy procedure. During a microphlebectomy, local anesthesia is applied along the course of the vein. Small punctures are then made in the skin and through those punctures, a tool that looks like a crochet hook is used to remove the vein bit by bit.

Most patients begin to experience relief from their pain and swelling within a few days of undergoing these procedures. That was the case with Rachael, who describes the results of her treatments as “amazing.”
“When I saw the before and after pictures, I was shocked,’’ she says. “I’d kind of forgotten how bad my legs looked. Now, my legs look and feel great, and I’m moving around normally and doing all the things I want and need to do.”

Suncoast Vein & Vascular also offers radiofrequency ablation and a glue treatment called VenaSeal® as alternatives to the laser treatment as well as cosmetic sclerotherapy for the treatment of spider veins.
The VenaSeal treatment shuts down the defective veins without using heat so there is less risk of damaging the adjacent nerves causing numbness. This treatment alone requires no stocking use.

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