Options for Varicose Veins Treatment

Updated: Jul 25

Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins of the legs that are raised above the surface of the skin. They are not life-threatening but often are a cosmetic problem and can cause pain, especially when sitting or standing continuously. Caused due to abnormal blood flow that results in varicose veins, they can affect any part of the body but are most common in the legs. Untreated varicose veins can cause ulcer formation and skin darkening affecting the quality of life.

If you’ve been thinking about getting varicose veins treatment done, or if you are bothered or embarrassed by them, maybe it’s time you opt for varicose veins removal.

Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

Traditionally, surgery was the only option available for treating varicose veins. ‘Vein Stripping’, a type of surgery that involved making small incisions and physically pulling out the veins used to be done to remove varicose veins. But this type of vein surgery is associated with the risk of scarring, bleeding, pain, infection, and deep vein thrombosis.

However, today with the advancement in modern medicine, there are plenty of minimal or non-invasive procedures to treat varicose veins. This type of procedure is performed by making tiny incisions on the skin and reducing the risk of pain and other complications.

Here are some of the minimally-invasive procedures available to treat varicose veins:

#1 - Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is done to destroy varicose veins by injecting them with a scarring agent or sclerosant. The sclerosant causes the varicose veins to scar and eventually collapse, thus allowing blood to reroute to healthy veins. It is to be noted that sclerotherapy is very effective for spider veins, a small version of varicose veins, it is less effective for varicose veins than endovenous ablation.

Also, foam sclerotherapy is used for larger varicose veins as it involves turning the sclerosant into foam before getting injected into the vein and covering a larger surface area than the liquid.

#2 - Endovenous Laser Ablation

Similar to RFA, EVLA uses laser energy to close off varicose veins. A catheter is usually placed inside varicose veins, and a laser fiber is inserted into the catheter. It is then moved towards the varicose veins thus causing it to close by heat. Over time, the vein shrinks and gets reabsorbed by the body within.

#3 - Phlebectomy

Phlebectomy is done by making a small incision on the skin near the vein and using a special hook, the varicose vein is removed. This procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete and may require you to repeat this procedure for optimal results.

#4 - Radiofrequency Ablation