Anchor: Welcome back to We are Austin.
Anchor: If you’re feeling discomfort or maybe even hiding your legs because of varicose veins, you may not realize how much it’s impacting your day-to-day life. Dr. Joel Ornelas with ARA Diagnostic Imaging is going to join us this morning with more info about a minimally invasive procedure that could bring you relief. I’m sure this is a topic that a lot of people think about. So, what exactly are varicose veins?
Dr: So, varicose veins are these unsightly, kind ropey, painful, big veins that you get. Usually people get them in their lower thighs or their calves. And not only are they unsightly, but they can also lead to other medical problems such as swelling, pain, and also ulcers.
Anchor: So, how exactly do they affect people’s lives on that note?
Dr: So, basically not only do they affect you in a clinical standpoint from having that… This is a progression of varicose veins. So, usually they start off as small spider veins. They can progress to bigger, thicker reticular veins. And then here’s what we’re going to be talking about today – is the varicose veins, those trunk-like, abnormal veins.
Dr: But venous disease can actually progress to more chronic issues such as chronic venous insufficiencies and ulcers.
Anchor: Oh, wow.
Dr: So, that’s one part of the way they can affect you. They can also affect you in a more psychological way.
Anchor: Mm hm.
Dr: If you have varicose veins, you’re probably not as likely to go outside. Probably not as likely to wear shorts or dresses. In a place like Austin, it’s hot a lot so people want to wear these. So here you can see it’s pretty deforming. Not only from a medical standpoint but also psychologically.
Anchor: Yeah. Is that uncomfortable? Is there pain associated with that?
Dr: So, a lot of people — when they first start, they’re not painful but as they progress they can get very painful. People don’t want to move around. People just want to stay at home.
Dr: And that kind of makes it a vicious cycle because as the veins get bigger, people have more symptoms.
Anchor: Yeah, and you’re talking about that psychological effect. So, you want people to feel happy, feel like they can go outside.
Anchor: So, how exactly do you treat people at ARA?
Dr: So, there’s many ways of treating veins. One of the ways that we have is called endovascular laser treatment (EVLT).
Dr: So, what we do is we find the big vein. Usually we make a small incision by your calf. We put a little bit of numbing medicine and we take a catheter up the vein. Then through the catheter we put a laser. The laser delivers energy that closes up the vein and the veins go away.
Anchor: Wow! How does it feel to get a procedure like that?
Dr: It’s very comfortable; most people say it’s very comfortable. We start off by giving you some medicine through your IV to relax you. It’s kind of like twilight sedation.
Anchor: Mm hmm.
Dr: Afterwards we do give you some local anesthetic throughout the course that we’re treating it. So, mostly the only thing you’ll feel is like some small pin pricks as the local anesthetic is going through.
Anchor: Interesting. And how long does a procedure like that take?
Dr: So, this procedure probably takes about twenty to thirty minutes.
Anchor: Oh, okay. So, done in a day and back to your normal life.
Anchor: So, how can you decide if these are the right types of treatments for you?
Dr: So, here we can see the before and after. There’s really no, uh.
Anchor: Yeah, you can’t see anything!
Dr: No scarring.
Anchor: How interesting.
Dr: But one of the ways we can, ARA does offer screening ultrasounds at most of our locations.
Dr: All you have to do is you can either call us at (512) 453-6100 and set up an appointment.
Dr: And then we can see if you’re a candidate for either endovascular laser treatment or we also do other minimally invasive treatments such as microphlebectomy and sclerotherapy.
Anchor: Okay, great. So, there’s options for people.
Dr: There’s options.
Anchor: So, they just need to begin by starting a conversation with you.
Anchor: Okay, anything else you want people to know?
Dr: No, I mean like, it makes a big difference in people’s lives. I had patients that I treated and then I’ve caught them at the gym checking out their legs afterwards.
Dr: So, I mean, I think people not only from a medical standpoint are much better but they also have a lot more self-esteem after this.
Anchor: Yeah, it makes big changes in a lot of ways. So, we can put that info on that screen or you might have just seen it. There you go! Ausrad.com. So you can get in touch and explore all these great options. Thanks for walking us through that today.
Dr: Thank you.
Anchor: We appreciate it.
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.