Varicose veins can be ugly, embarrassing and sometimes painful, but a new treatment promises effective results with little recovery time.
The bulging veins are caused when vein valves don't close properly, allowing blood to leak back with gravity and pool in the vein, which can prompt throbbing pain, itching, numbness and cramping, RTV6's Stacia Matthews reported.
The CoolTouch CTEV Laser Endovenous Treatment used a catheter inserted into the vein to heat it up enough to seal it, eliminating the varicose veins 99 percent of the time, the company claims.
Doctors note that the recovery time is nearly nonexistent with the new procedure.
"With the old stripping method, people were often in bed rest for six weeks afterward," said Dr. Nick Morrison, who administers the new treatment. "With this procedure, people walk out and they can go back to work that day."
Jan Cordell, who is in her mid-60s, had battled bulging veins since high school but had grown accustomed to hiding her legs and feet.
"It was a psychological hurdle for me. It had gotten to the point that I sort of thought, 'Do I want to wear a dress? Or do I want to wear slacks?" she said. "My feet looked like balloons, and they were so uncomfortable it felt like the skin would absolutely split."
Cordell is on her second of five CoolTouch treatments, and she's pleased with the results.
"I walked out of the procedure, chatted for a couple of minutes, got in the car and drove home," Cordell said. "Just taking the step for myself has really sort of reminded me that I've got a lot of years to be very active and healthy, and I want to feel good and look good."
CoolTouch patient Michael Shebek said the procedure does hurt, but he said he believes it's been worth it.
"I mean, there is some pain from getting stuck with needles, (but) they're already looking a lot better since the procedure," he said. "I feel better about myself as far as the way my legs look, but also the health aspects."
Some insurance companies cover the procedure, but doctors urge patients to check first.
The treatment lasts about 30 minutes and costs about $1,500 per leg.
CoolTouch CTEV Laser Endovenous Treatment
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