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607 Garfield Street
Tupelo, MS 38801
1-855-346 VEIN (8346)
North Mississippi Medical Center's Vein Center offers treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, venous ulceration and inflammation, and other issues affecting veins of the leg.
Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart. When these valves become diseased, individuals may suffer from:
Click here to complete a Self-Assessment & Screening for issues affecting veins of the leg. Forms may be returned to the NMMC Vein Center or brought to your first appointment.
Varicose veins are extremely common and often thought of as a nagging consequence of the aging process. Patients and physicians often overlook varicose veins because it is thought that not much can be done. In fact, varicose veins are a serious health risk that can lead to chronic wounds and debility that accounts for a huge loss of work and cost.
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted and sometimes painful veins that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood. Varicose veins can be caused by defective valves from birth, pregnancy, thrombophlebitis and prolonged standing. Symptoms include fullness in the legs, aching in the legs, visible veins, swelling, discoloration of the skin at the ankle, and even skin ulcers at the ankle.
Varicose veins are usually diagnosed through a physical examination while standing and by ultrasound that looks at blood flow in the veins, particularly the valves in the lower leg. These valves become incompetent in the leg, leading to pooling of blood, which gives the varicose veins their classic appearance of unsightly engorged or “ropey” veins on the leg. The ultrasound is also used to rule out blood clots in the legs known as a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT).
Most varicose veins are relatively benign, but varicosities can lead to major complications and lost work time. Complications include severe bleeding from minor trauma, loss of work from pain and heaviness in the leg, superficial thrombophlebitis, skin dermatitis, and even skin ulcers which are very costly and hard to treat.
Treatment includes decreasing gravity’s effect on the veins in the lower legs, including avoiding standing for too long, raising the legs while resting or sleeping, and wearing compression stockings. Further treatment by a surgeon includes sclerotherapy, vein stripping, ambulatory phlebectomy, or endovenous thermal ablation with laser or radiofrequency ablation of the vein.
Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical treatment for varicose veins in which medicine is directly injected into the varicose veins to cause them to sclerose or scar. Phlebectomy is a procedure performed in the operating room or office in which small incisions are made to remove the varicose veins. Vein stripping is a procedure in which the saphenous vein is removed in the operating room with two incisions. Endovenous thermal ablation is an office-based procedure which does not require a trip to the operating room. The vein is treated with small catheters and an energy device to seal the vein, causing the treated vein to thrombose, which effectively closes this pathologic pathway.
If varicose veins are becoming a problem, talk to your health care provider. A consultation with a vein specialist may be in order. Symptoms can worsen over time if left untreated. For more information, call the NMMC Vein Center at (662) 377-8921 or 1-855-348 VEIN (8346).