Varicose Vein Treatments
Endovenous laser is a new, alternative treatment for varicose veins that were once only treatable by surgery. A small laser fiber is placed inside the vein, then pressure is placed on the vein, and the laser delivers pulses of laser light. This causes the vein to collapse, allowing for blood to be rerouted to other, healthy veins. Over time, the collapsed vein is reabsorbed by the body. Studies suggest that endovenous laser treatments are effective 98% of the time. Patients also report less pain and a quicker recovery compared to surgical interventions.
Radiofrequency Abolation Radiofrequency ablation is another option for large varicose veins. The principle is similar to endovenous lasers. A small catheter delivers radiofrequency energy (instead of laser energy) directly into the vein wall, causing it to heat up and collapse. After about a year, the vein disappears. The results are comparable to vein surgery, with significantly less risk and pain.
Vein ligation, vein stripping, phlebectomy
For varicose veins that do not respond to other treatments, a small, minimally invasive surgery can be considered. This common procedure consists of vein ligation, vein stripping, and phlebectomy — the tying off of an affected vein and removing the problematic segment through small incisions in the skin. This may be done with local or general anesthesia. If the vein is near the skin’s surface, it may be possible to remove it through a tiny incision that does not need stitches.
Vein Surgery: Before and After
Vein ligation and stripping successfully removes varicose veins in most people. The procedure does not require a hospital stay, and most patients can return to work in a few days. It is important to consider that surgery done for cosmetic reasons may not be covered by insurance. In addition, there are now less invasive techniques for eliminating large varicose veins.