Varicose Vein Treatment
Endovenous methods for treating the deeper varicose veins of the legs have been a huge breakthrough in varicose vein treatment. They have replaced surgery for the vast majority of patients with severe varicose veins. This type of treatment for varicose veins is not invasive and can be done in a doctor's office.
An example of an endovenous method is called vein ablation. During this procedure, the healthcare provider puts a very small tube called a catheter into the vein. Once inside, the catheter sends out radiofrequency or laser energy that shrinks and seals the vein wall. Healthy veins around the closed vein restore the normal flow of blood. As this happens, symptoms from the varicose vein improve. Veins on the surface of the skin that are connected to the treated varicose vein will also usually shrink after treatment. When needed, these connected varicose veins can be treated with sclerotherapy or other techniques.
The most common side effect for this procedure is slight bruising.
Surgery is used mostly to treat large varicose veins. Types of surgery for varicose veins include:
- Surgical ligation and stripping
- Ambulatory phlebectomy
- Endoscopic vein surgery.
You can learn more about these surgeries used for varicose vein treatment by going to the eMedTV article Varicose Vein Surgery.
Current treatments for varicose veins have high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, more varicose veins can develop. The major reason for this is that there is no cure for weak vein valves. So with time, pressure gradually builds up again in the leg veins. Ultrasound can be used to keep track of how badly the valves are leaking (a condition called venous insufficiency). Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control.
The single most important thing a person can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear graduated compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.