In 2011, Dr. Sinha started Vanishing Veins of Ohio as a subsidiary of Cardiovascular Specialists and began performing radiofrequency ablations for patients with symptomatic venous insufficiency. Our practice had been seeing patients with unexplained leg pain, aching and edema despite normal arterial flow. After some review, we found that a lot of their symptoms were consistent with venous reflux and that approximately 25 million people in the United States suffer from venous reflux disease.
In prior practice, venous insufficiency treatment has largely been ignored or avoided due to lack of minimally invasive treatments that were effective. Several patients have been referred from the wound clinic with chronic venous stasis ulcers which were successfully ablated and subsequently discharged from the wound clinic with complete wound healing. We have had many successful cases not only with wound healing, but resolution of restlessness, aching and edematous legs. It is important to know that venous insufficiency has many signs and symptoms and varicose veins are just one of them. Patients that complain of pain/cramping or aching in lower extremities particularly at night or at rest, edema, leg heaviness or fatigue and restlessness leg syndrome often have underlying venous insufficiency, even if no large varicose veins are noted on examination. Other common signs that are often noted on exam are skin changes, reoccurring ulcers or non-healing ulcers. Once these signs are noted, the earlier the treatment the better. For instance, if edema is longstanding, without treatment, it often times progresses to lymphedema. Venous ablations are performed with a local anesthetic in our clinic utilizing ultrasound to assure appropriate catheter positioning. After accessing the vein with a needle, the closure catheter is advanced into the diseased vein and heat is delivered, either by laser or radiofrequency energy, shrinking it. Once the diseased vein is gone, the body re-routes the blood to other veins that work more efficiently to return the blood to the heart. The benefit of this system is the ability to provide the patient relief of their symptoms with a minimally invasive office procedure with no sutures/incision and in most cases, no loss of time from their job.