Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins on legsVaricose veins are swollen and bulging veins more common in women. They tend to run in families and cause discomfort. They can look unsightly, but there are ways to prevent them or minimize their appearance.

Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves. These weak valves result in blood moving backward and collecting in the vein. As the blood pools there, it vein swells.

The problem is more likely if a close relative has them, the person is overweight, or if they have a job that involves a lot of standing. Pregnancy can also make women prone to them.

Symptoms and Treatment of Varicose Veins

The symptoms of varicose veins include:

– Swelling in the feet and ankles

– Burning pains in the legs

– Aching

– Heavy legs

– Itchy skin

Mild cases of varicose veins don’t need treatment, but if the person is in discomfort, some things can alleviate the pain of varicose veins.

Compression – Compression socks (medical grade) or stockings can relieve discomfort by putting pressure on the ankles and legs and forcing the blood to flow in the right direction.

Injections – A chemical can be injected into the affected veins. This causes them to scar and close up. Blood is then diverted to other veins. This procedure is called sclerotherapy.

Radiofrequency Ablation – This procedure involves inserting a catheter above the knee, which is then threaded into the affected vein. Radiofrequency energy is then directed through the catheter. This produces heat that causes the vein to collapse and close off.  A local anesthetic is used for the patient’s comfort.

Laser Treatment – Like radiofrequency, laser treatment can also heat up the vein and destroy it.

Surgery – Surgery called phlebectomy can be carried out to remove affected veins. An incision is made, and a light is inserted under the skin to allow the surgeon to see the veins. They are then cut out and removed through the incision.

Varicose veins are normally harmless swollen veins caused by weak or faulty valves. If they cause discomfort, there are lots of options available to resolve them.