980 JOHNSON FERRY RD NE. SUITE 430 | ATLANTA, GA 30342

2665 N DECATUR RD SUITE 730 | DECATUR, GA 30033

Serving the Atlanta and Decatur communities for over twenty years.

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MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT KEEP THE OLD ONES

While preparing this blog, I was reminded of the little song we sang in grade school.  I always want to keep you informed about  new techniques in vein care, but on the other hand, I think my patients need to remember some information we have posted in old blogs.  So after I tell you about some new developments, I am re-posting an earlier blog that I think will be of benefit.

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Our patients continue to experience good results from the new Varithena  foam  for those twisty (doctor-speak is tortuous) varicose veins.  Previously these twisting veins were difficult to treat with the closure procedure, but now the Varithena foam readily spreads into even the most difficult reaches of these tortuous veins.  Seeing  such a high degree of patient satisfaction is indeed gratifying.   Getting rid of leg heaviness, achiness, swelling, throbbing and itching is always a good thing.

What could be newer?  GLUE!  Yes, now there is a glue for treatment of varicose veins.   And with this treatment, the wearing of compression hose for a week or so after treatment  is unnecessary.    Plus, we are finding most patients need less numbing during treatment.   Every improvement in vein treatment is easier and easier for the patient.

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Sometimes it takes a while for our insurance carriers to catch up with the newest developments in treatment.  We are now seeing most insurance companies coming on board with approval for Varithena foam treatment.  And we expect to have insurance approval for glue by the first of the year.

Despite advances, old fears and confusion about the issue of the safety of treating varicose veins continues to resurface.    So I am reposting information that is still very relevant, even though it is from a previous blog.  We all needed to be reminded of this timely information.  Read on……

WHAT IF I NEED MY LEG VEINS LATER FOR BYPASS SURGERY?

 

Patients sometimes wonder if having varicose vein treatment is a smart move.  They think they might need those leg veins (great saphenous veins) if they need bypass surgery in the future.

This is a good question!  Because in the past there was concern among physicians to preserve this vein.  The great saphenous vein was  often used as a replacement for an artery in heart bypass surgery.

Now, many cardiac surgeons prefer the radial artery from the forearm or the left internal mammary artery from inside the chest as a conduit for coronary arterial bypass procedures.

 

 

 Things have changed!  Doctors now believe there is no reason NOT to treat the great saphenous vein in the leg if needed.  If the vein is badly damaged, it will not work as a vein graft anyway.  Truth is, refluxing varicose veins (which have broken valves allowing the blood to flow back)  are unsuitable for use in these situations.  They are not healthy, functioning veins.

When  bypass surgery is needed,  heart surgeons  want the best veins possible for a good outcome that would last for many years to come.  And diseased veins would not be the best choice. There are several arteries that can be used as grafts for bypass surgery, but the most common is the left internal mammary artery (LIMA). The right internal mammary artery (RIMA) may also be used as a graft. These arteries are accessed thru the same chest incision used to access the heart. Occasionally, the radial (in the arm) or the gastroepiploic (near the stomach) arteries may be used, each accessed thru separate incisions.

Because we have many substitutes that can be used for the saphenous vein it makes it easy to recommend having the veins treated by thermal ablation.  In this way the patient’s symptoms and lifestyle can be improved without having to worry about needing this damaged and inferior vein for later bypass cardiac procedures.