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Indication and Procedure
Deep vein valvuloplasty is a procedure that involves repairing or reconstructing valves in the veins to treat deep venous incompetence. Deep venous incompetence usually occurs in the deep veins of the legs. It is often a result of problems in the valves, thus causing reversal in the flow of blood. Valves in the veins are important in letting blood flow towards the heart in one direction. Deep vein incompetence can also result from deep venous thrombosis, which can lead to the narrowing and to the limitation or obstruction of blood circulation in the area.
Symptoms of deep venous incompetence include pain, eczema, ulcerations or sores in the skin, swelling or edema of the ankle, and brownish skin pigmentation. On the onset of minor symptoms, compressions that involve the use of stockings or bandages may help. Some medications are also given to prevent its complications. If these solutions do not work, however, valvuloplasty of the affected vein might be carried out.
The procedure is generally performed by a vascular surgeon. The patient is usually administered with a general anaesthesia or epidural anesthesia during the procedure. A small incision is then made on the skin to gain access and do repair on the affected vein. Depending on the surgeon, he can either do an internal or external valvuloplasty procedure. An internal valvuloplasty requires the use of stitches in tightening of the valve cusps. External valvuloplasty requires putting a sleeve around the outer side of the vein to effectively reduce the vein diameter.
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Most surgical operations have risks and complications. Mild complications of deep vein valvuloplasty are pain in the incision site and swelling of the leg. Severe complications are often a result of allergy to the anesthesia, bleeding, wound hematoma and infection.
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After the procedure, the patient is regularly monitored for a few days. He may be expected to stay in the hospital for at least three days or even a week. Medications like anticuagulants are usually prescribed, as well as physical therapy.
The recovery period often differs between patients. The approximate time for full recovery, however, can span up to several months. Enough rest, regular intake of prescribed medications and overall health of the body often contribute to faster healing. Most patients are recommended to limit movement for a few weeks. It is, however, not advisable for the patient to stay stationary all the time. The patient needs to promote blood flow or proper circulation in the affected area in order to attain a faster recovery time and to reach the full effectivity of the procedure. Doing regular exercises usually promote blood circulation, as well as the strengthening of the affected areas in the legs.
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Cleveland Clinic: Valve Repair for Venous Disease