No varicose vein is the same; no person’s symptoms are the same; and so the best procedure for varicose veins is not always the same. The treatments associated with vein disease are based on a patient’s symptoms, vein size, location, contributing conditions, and ultrasound findings.
Different treatments available for varicose veins
1) Thermal Ablation
(Indicated for Varicose Veins) The great saphenous vein, small saphenous vein, and accessory veins, can be treated with thermal ablation. There are two thermal treatments currently in use. Both radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) utilize energy to permanently close the veins; thereby improving symptoms and appearance of these veins.
2) Vein stripping and phlebectomy
(which are not performed in our office as they really are outdated treatments) Vein stripping and phlebectomy are painful older methods used to literally remove the vein from your body. Patients typically have quite a bit of post procedure pain and discomfort.
3) Adhesive Closure
(Cyanoacrylate Adhesive) The most recent technique, approved by the FDA, is an adhesive closure called VenaSeal. Similar to the thermal (energy) ablation, adhesive closure is indicated for the larger varicose veins. It does not require as much numbing medicine so there is less pain with the treatment, and patients do not have to wear compression stockings after treatment.
(Indicated for Reticular Veins and Spider Veins) The most common procedure for spider veins is sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy is an injection of a solution which cause the veins to close off and visually go away within 6 – 12 weeks. This treatment is typically not covered by health insurance and cost varies from office to office.
The best treatment for varicose veins is the one that appropriately addresses your symptoms and concerns. A board certified Vein Specialist can provide you with a comprehensive venous evaluation and education so you can fully understand your treatment options.