"What causes varicose veins are bad valves," he said. "You should have a one-way vein going out of the leg. But when these valves fail, they don't close properly, and the blood goes back down the leg."
The backward flow of blood allows pressure and inflammation to develop in the leg and patients feel an aching, itching or burning sensation.
Varicose veins can also cause restless leg syndrome, but after treatment, "75 percent of the symptoms go away and you can sleep," he said.
In a worst-case scenario, untreated varicose veins can cause deep vein thrombosis, which can be life-threatening.
"The veins can get so big that they put so much pressure on the surface of the skin that it breaks down and you get venous ulceration," he said. "The skin can't heal properly and a surface accident can cut them and they can bleed profusely. Some are so bad you need blood transfusions."
Many patients avoid treatment because they know family members who underwent old-fashioned stripping methods.
"You would go under general anesthesia and a surgeon would make a cut in the leg and take a metal rod with an acorn on the tip and insert it and pull out the other end, ripping the vein out of the leg," he said.
Cunningham, who has been using VenaCure 1470 since December, said it has been a "game-changer for me and my patients."
"I can use less energy to target the water in the vein to feel it close," he said. "Less energy means less inflammation in the vein wall, less pain and less bruising."
This was especially important to Brett, who wanted to return to running and his golf game.
"I really didn't have a lot of pain or anything and a pretty good recovery," said Peaks. "I was back at work an hour later and walking around."
"I'm feeling good today," he said, only a week after the outpatient procedure, which was covered by insurance. "And every day gets better."