Venous interventions are minimally invasive treatment options for patients with blocked or narrowed veins. These treatments are designed to either open up or seal off the diseased veins in order to prevent serious complications or permanent damage, while avoiding the need for surgery.
A patient may need to undergo a venous intervention because of a worrisome or dangerous vascular problem, such as:
- Varicose veins
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Venous insufficiency or venous stasis
There are several methods to treat varicose veins, the veins which appear as a web of raised bluish ropes on the surface of the legs:
- Phlebectomy, during which the affected veins are removed through tiny incisions
- Sclerotherapy, during which a solution is injected to shrink the affected veins
- Endovenous ablation, during which radiofrequency or laser energy burns away the veins
All of these procedures will relieve the painful symptoms and unsightly appearance of varicose veins. In all three varieties of treatment, the affected veins are removed or collapse and are reabsorbed by the body. Blood circulation continues, uninterrupted, redirected to healthy vessels.
Venous insufficiency which results in slowed blood flow or venous stasis may also require one of the above treatments. In mild cases, simpler remedies, such as wearing compression hose, avoiding long periods of standing, and elevating the legs whenever possible, may resolve the problem.
Another serious problem with the veins is the formation of a blood clot within a large vein in the leg. This is known as a deep vein thrombosis and may be life-threatening since the clot may, if left untreated, travel through the body, interfering with blood flow to a vital organ. Depending on which direction such a clot travels, it may result in a heart attack, stroke or pulmonary embolism.
A clot in the vein, or Venous thrombosis, is often treated through a minimally invasive procedure called catheter-directed thrombolysis, during which a small incision is made at the site of the blood clot to insert a catheter into the affected vein. Special clot-dissolving medication is administered through the catheter to dissolve the clot. With the administration of the clot-dissolving medication, the problem usually resolves within 24 hours.