What is the Alpha method?
The Alpha method is a combined treatment intervention which is similar to foam scleropathy, yet its additional value lies in the fact that it is more accurate. The method involves injecting sclerosing foam into the varicose vein through a special catheter guided by ecography.
Instructions for the Alpha method
The Alpha method is a type of intervention used in less severe cases of varicose disease, such as the following:
- Telangiectasia (dilation of the small blood vessels)
- Reticular veins (these look like networks)
- Isolated varices
- Recurring varices
- Varices in the popliteal fossa (back side of the knee)
- Varices of any size
Foam sleropathy cannot be applied in case of patients, who are allergic to the sclerosing substance. The procedure is also counterindicated in case of patients who suffer from occlusive arterial disease or thrombophlebitis.
The Alpha method is an alternative to the traditional surgical treatment methods of varices, which involved long hospitalization, pain, hemorrhages or stripping the whole vein for optimal results.
The process of the steam vapor treatment
First a Doppler echography is done, which provides an encompassing overview of the lower limbs’ venous network. This provides the surgeon with a “map” of the varicose veins, which will be treated with high-precision injections.
Sclerosing foam is injected into the varicose vein through a catheter. This sclerosing agent will cause the vein’s walls to swell, which will thus close off the vein. The chemical mix of air and sclerosing agent injected into the vein will push the blood out of its trajectory causing the vein to enter into spasm. In other words by using foam the contact surface area of the vein and the substance grows considerably. This in turn creates an even closing of the vein by using a small amount of sclerosing agent.
The ecographic survey identifies deep veins, which are not visible to the naked eye, so the process has to be permanently assisted by this auxiliary imaging technology. Through this the surgeon is able to follow the whole intervention and decide on what point to use for administering the injection. Furthermore he is able to see the sclerosing agent’s distribution and the immediate reaction of the vein.
The intervention is done with the use of a local anesthetic.
The advantages of the procedure
- Thanks to the ecographic guiding, the Alpha method is highly precise and safe. This is why it has a high rate of success.
- The Alpha method provides definitive treatment of varices without having to opt for surgery.
- The Alpha method does not entail the use of a scalpel, thus the scars are practically non-existent.
- The procedure does not entail hospitalization, so the patient is able to become mobile almost as soon as the intervention is completed.
- The Alpha method sooths the symptoms associated with varicose diseases until their complete elimination has been reached.
Day-to-day activities can be resumed immediately after the procedure. Even if a slight swelling will appear, this will not immobilize the patient.
Wearing a compression bandage for a period between 1 week and 1 month provides an optimal amount of time for healing and contributes to the efficiency of the intervention. Patients are advised to take short strolls and to avoid exhausting physical effort.
For a period of 6 weeks after the intervention the use of aspirin and paracetamol is to be avoided as far as possible.