You do not have to suffer from varicose veins pain or any venous disease issues any longer. Venous Stenting For some more complicated venous disorders, a stent may be required to open a narrowed vein. This is usually placed in a larger vein of the abdomen or pelvis. Stents are made of metal, commonly high grade steel or nitenol. Like a spring, the stent can be compressed and squeezed into a catheter of a size smaller than a straw. The vein is entered by a needle stick in the thigh usually with just local anesthesia. A guidewire is slipped into the vein with a catheter then threaded over the guidewire to the area where the vein is blocked. The blockage in the vein is first dilated by a balloon. Unfortunately the area dilated by the balloon usually will collapse and become narrow again because the vein is elastic like a rubber band. To prevent the vein walls from moving back to its original narrowed position, it is necessary to insert a stent into the vein. Once the compressed stent is placed it springs back to its original size, which can be half an inch or more in diameter. The stent creates an inner circular tube, which helps to keep the vein open. The final site of the stent is commonly in the abdominal veins that drain the leg circulation. Usually the stents are placed in the pelvic veins above the groin skin crease, but sometimes the lower tip of the stent may extend below the groin into the thigh veins. Sometimes several stents are inserted to cover the entire area, which is blocked or narrowed.
The side effects of stenting are few and usually minor. Since veins do not carry sensation, the stents should not be felt by the patient. A sensation of pulling or tugging in the area is caused by tissue swelling or muscle spasm, but not directly caused by the stent. This is generally harmless. Some patients may experience moderate back pain which responds to medication and exercise. If back pain does not respond to this medication or persists call your doctor.
Bruising or discoloration of the thigh around the needle stick is common and may not appear until a few days after surgery in some cases. This bruising is usually harmless and should spontaneously heal. Cold or warm packs as preferred may be applied to the area if bruising is extensive.
Novant Health Vein Specialists physicians specialize in a number of state-of-the-art venous procedures and diagnostic tests. To find out more about them, and how these treatments may help you or a loved one, complete the form below and one of our specialists will contact you.