SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Varicose veins are ugly, embarrassing and sometimes painful.
The actual cause of varicose veins is inefficient, faulty vein valves. These valves don't close properly, allowing blood to leak back with gravity and pool in the vein. This causes the veins to bulge and stretch and result in many unpleasant side effects such as:
- Aching and throbbing pain
- Heavy and tired legs
- Poor circulation
- Night cramps
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Heredity is a primary factor in over 80 percent of varicose vein cases.
Now, there's a new treatment to eliminate varicose veins. It's called the CoolTouch CTEV™ Laser Endovenous Treatment for Varicose Veins and claims to work 99 percent of the time.
"It was a psychological hurdle for me," said Jan Cordell, who has battled bulging veins since high school. "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."
Now in her mid 60s, Cordell is finally doing something about her unsightly and unhealthy veins.
"My feet looked like balloons and they were so uncomfortable it felt like the skin would absolutely split," she said.
After years of waiting, Cordell decided to undergo the CoolTouch treatment.
"Very, very dramatic," said Dr. Nick Morrison, head of the Scottsdale, Ariz. Morrison Vein Institute .
He said vein sufferers like Cordell are just starting to find out there's something safer to vanish varicose veins.
"The old stripping method people were often in bed rest for six weeks afterward," said Morrison. "With this procedure people walk out and they can go back to work that day."
Cordell is on her second of five CoolTouch treatments. She said after the first she felt great.
"Walked out of the procedure, chatted for a couple of minutes, got in the car and drove home," said Cordell.
Results were a little different for patient Michael Shebek.
"It does hurt," said Shebek. "I mean there is some pain from getting stuck with needles."
The procedure takes about 30 minutes per leg. A little tiny catheter is inserted into the vein and the cool touch generator heats it up enough to seal it.
Shebek and Cordell are both good candidates for the procedure having suffered for years with large veins, pain and swelling.
"Even hiking with my buddies they'd often comment did my legs get in a bar fight," said Shebek. "Pretty battered looking. So they're already looking a lot better since the procedure."
The results are dramatic. Not only are Cordell and Shebek's varicose veins disappearing, a new confidence is emerging.
"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," said Cordell.
"Be more comfortable out in public," said Shebek. "In shorts I feel better about myself as far as the way my legs look, but also the health aspects."
CoolTouch laser treatment costs about $1,500 per leg and some insurance companies even cover the treatment.