Health & Fitness
What We’ve Learned in Our 25 Years Treating Vein Disorders BY DR. MARK BLUMENTHAL
Non-surgical options have become the gold standard
fter extensive training as a surgeon specializing in vein problems, I have spent most of my medical career applying non-surgical approaches for treating vein diseases. Research on the negative effects of traditional treatments led me to adopt more advanced and effective ways to treat vein problems.
Sclerotherapy Approximately VARICOSE VEINS seventy-five years ago, a remarkable technique was developed that uses a solution injected into a vein to cause it to “scar” inside, and eventually melt away. The technique is sclerotherapy. In the hands of an experienced vascular surgeon, this technique is very effective for treating abnormal small veins as well as varicose veins. In our office, sclerotherapy is always performed by me, not a nurse or assistant. The procedure involves only minimal discomfort, and the patient can resume normal activities immediately. Endovenous Laser Ablation Our practice was among the first to offer this treatment, which uses a special laser to eliminate an abnormal “feeding” vein, often responsible for visible varicose veins. I perform that procedure with only local anesthesia. Patients go home immediately. Some practices still treat varicose veins by vein stripping. This painful, outdated operation must be done in an operating room under general anesthesia, creating unnecessary risks and exorbitant fees. It leaves numerous scars and recovery may last weeks. Many vein problems are health issues covered by medical insurance. Others are not medically necessary to treat, but can produce excellent cosmetic improvement. Patients should ask questions so they are fully educated about a treatment process and why it is recommended.
Dr. Blumenthal is the premiere physician in the St. Louis area for treating vascular conditions without surgical intervention. He is a graduate of Washington University Medical School and completed his internship and AFTER residency and served as AFTER Chief Resident at Barnes and Washington University affiliated hospitals. Dr. Blumenthal is dedicated to educating all of his patients about the bestapproved treatments. His clinic, The Vein Center & CosMed was born from his dedication to specializing in vein treatments. To learn more about his practice you can visit www.veincentercosmed.com, or you can schedule a consultation by calling 314-966-6100. clm
COMMON VEIN DISORDERS Varicose Veins Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin that most commonly develop in the legs. As leg muscles pump blood back to the heart, valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards can become weak, causing blood to pool in the vein. This enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose. While it may never be completely “cured,” with proper care and follow up, it can be easily controlled. Spider Veins Similar pathology can cause dilation in much smaller veins, resulting in veins that often resemble the pattern of a spider’s web. They can cause discomfort and heaviness. Spider veins are susceptible to bleeding after minor trauma, and can be a sign of a more serious condition, requiring further investigation. Deep Vein Thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis is a condition manifest by blood clots in a deep vein of the leg. It can lead to many problems, the most serious of which is pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travels from the leg vein to the lungs -- potentially lethal. A simple test can diagnose the problem and treatment, usually blood thinners, should be begun without delay. It could require surgical intervention.
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