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Unsightly Veins More than a Cosmetic Annoyance - Friday, June 13, 2014

Connie Guillot used to be plagued by constant feelings of heaviness and tiredness in her legs. In addition to her physical aches and pains, she was embarrassed to wear clothing that would show her legs, due to some very visible and bulging veins.

Like many people with these symptoms, Connie thought her problems were just a natural part of the aging process, but they were actually be a sign of something more serious.

"Varicose and spider veins are very often symptoms of a more serious vascular condition called —superficial venous reflux,” says Dr. Carl Fastabend, an interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana. According to Dr. Fastabend, the legs contain a network of veins responsible for carrying blood back to the heart. Superficial veins, those near the surface of the skin, connect to perforating veins which carry blood from the superficial veins to the deep veins of the thigh and calf.

"Healthy leg veins contain valves that open and close to assist the return of blood back to the heart, but when the valves that keep blood flowing become damaged, venous reflux disease can develop, causing blood to pool in the legs, which can lead to a progression of symptoms,” he explains. "When varicose or spider veins become painful and a sensation of heaviness in the legs is present, it is time to get it checked out.”

The old way of correcting venous insuffiency was to strip the veins. Today though, a newer method called the VNUS Closure Procedure is bringing state-of-the-art technology to an age old problem.

"The Closure procedure is performed on an outpatient basis using ultrasound guidance,” Dr. Fastabend says. "We position the Closure catheter into the diseased vein through a small opening in the skin and radiofrequency energy sent via the catheter the vein wall. As the vein wall is heated and the catheter withdrawn, the collagen in the wall shrinks and the vein closes. Once the diseased vein is closed, blood is re-routed to other healthy veins.”

After being diagnosed with superficial venous reflux and spider and varicose veins, Connie underwent the VNUS Closure Procedure and sclerotherapy, an in-office cosmetic treatment, to reduce spider veins on both legs, and now she says she has a new lease on life. "I feel 18 again. I can work an eight hour day at my retail job, go to the gym and do housework without pain. I am actually looking forward to wearing shorts again.”

Call (337) 312-8346 or visit for more information about vein disorders and treatment options available at the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana.


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