Individuals living with the discomfort of varicose and spider veins can now access same-day minimally invasive therapies that can reverse the effects of chronic venous disease and offer cosmetic rejuvenation. Dr. Michael Darnell is a vein therapy specialist and offers these services right here in Taos.
Chronic venous disease occurs when the veins in the body become incapable of efficient return of the blood to the heart. This happens most commonly in the lower extremities, or legs, of adults. It is estimated that 20% of the adult population has some form of this problem. As the disease progresses there is a range of signs and symptoms depending on the severity of the problem. The visible signs range from tiny clusters of superficial veins in the skin (commonly referred to as spider veins) to the larger visible varicose veins. In more severe cases edema (swelling), redness, brown skin discoloration, and skin breakdown can occur. Common symptoms include heaviness, aching, restlessness, and itching.
The mechanism or pathology of chronic vein disease most often centers around a condition called reflux. Reflux is backward flow, usually occurring in the major superficial veins of the legs. In the normal state of health, the veins serve as the conduit to carry blood back to the heart once it has provided oxygen and nutrition to the tissues in the legs. A key element in the ability of the blood to move toward the heart is a system of one-way valves that allow the blood to flow out of the legs and toward the heart, but not in the reverse direction. For a number of reasons, these one-way valves in the leg may fail, allowing the backward flow of blood in the veins toward the feet. The consequence of this backward flow is increased pressure in the veins. The pressure is highest in the veins when we are standing or sitting for prolonged periods. Increased pressure can lead to leakage of fluid from the bloodstream into the tissue, producing swelling or edema. Increased venous pressure also causes the spillage of proteins and red blood cells into the tissue resulting in inflammation, scarring, and interference with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. Often, the visible signs of this problem are apparent in the lower legs and skin just above the ankles as edema, redness, and tan or brown skin staining. This is not just a cosmetic problem. Even patients with relatively early chronic vein disease have impaired circulation and chronic inflammation in the soft tissue that gradually worsens over time.
The good news is chronic venous disease is very treatable, most often with in-office procedures under a local anesthetic (numbing the areas treated similar to what is done by your dentist). These minimally invasive treatments allow patients to have corrective procedures, drive themselves home the same day, and return to work the next day with minimal discomfort and downtime. In addition, treatment of significant reflux often eliminates symptoms completely and prevents worsening of the condition and more complex future problems.
Dr. Michael Darnell is a General Surgeon that specializes in minimally invasive treatments for chronic venous disease and he performs these procedures right here in Taos. Dr. Darnell is certified by the American College of Surgeons as well as the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. He brought his specialized vein treatment to Holy Cross Medical Center in 2015 and his specialized vein therapies can reverse the effects of varicose veins and spider veins quickly. You don’t need to leave Taos to get great care, you can get specialized vein therapy without leaving town and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
A referral from your primary care doctor is necessary to set up an appointment, but the team at Holy Cross Surgical Specialties is here to help answer any questions you may have. Call us for more information at (575) 758-3141.