Varicose veins can be remedied through either lifestyle changes or medical intervention, depending on your symptoms. If changes to your lifestyle are not helping the appearance and symptoms of your varicose veins, or you have complications, your doctor may choose from a variety of medical treatments to alleviate your symptoms.
Common medical procedures aim to either remove varicose veins or to close them. This may seem risky, but it isn’t – there usually are no complications with blood flow, because your blood will begin moving through other veins. The following procedures accomplish the aforementioned goals, but can include side effects such as slight pain, discoloration, bruising, and swelling.
During sclerotherapy, your doctor uses a chemical to close off the affected vein. This treatment is common for smaller varicose veins, and can be done in the office- you don’t even have to sit down! While effective, it can take a few treatments to completely close off the vein.
Similar to sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy only differs in that it’s used to treat very fine varicose veins and small spider veins. The treatment is the same, but the needle used is much smaller.
- Endovenous Ablation Therapy
This same day procedure uses either lasers or radio waves that produce enough heat to close off your varicose veins. Your doctor will make a tiny cut near the vein, insert a catheter, and heat the end of the catheter until the vein closes.
- Laser Surgery
As the name implies, laser surgery uses light energy directed at the varicose vein until it fades. It’s a nonintrusive procedure used to treat smaller varicose veins.
- Endoscopic Vein Surgery
Endoscopic vein surgery is a minorly intrusive procedure during which your doctor will insert a small tube with a camera on the end into your vein. A surgical device at the end of the camera is used to close the varicose vein. This procedure is generally reserved for severe cases where the patient’s varicose veins are causing them extreme pain.
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy
For varicose veins closest to the surface of your skin, your doctor will use this procedure to remove small varicose veins by making a small incision in your skin.
- Vein Stripping and Ligation
For severe cases of varicose veins, doctors use the vein stripping method to tie shut and remove painful varicose veins. You will be under an anesthetic during this procedure, during which time your doctor makes small cuts in the skin and ties off and removes the veins.