How do you get rid of varicose veins?
Varicose veins appear as large, ropey, and discolored veins on the surface of your skin. They typically form on your legs due to poor blood flow and subsequent pooling.
There are different ways to treat varicose veins, including conservative treatments like lifestyle changes and compression stockings to ensure proper blood flow in the veins. But if the symptoms persist or get worse, then the surgical closure or removal of the affected veins may be necessary.
Treatments for varicose veins are usually done for cosmetic reasons, though they also help to relieve associated symptoms, such as pain, heaviness in your legs, and fatigue, and reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation, ulceration, and other kinds of skin changes.
The two categories of treatments are:
Closing varicose veins
By closing off the affected veins, blood flow is redirected to other healthy veins, while the closed vein gradually fades away. These procedures include:
- Sclerotherapy – The doctor injects a specific solution into the varicose vein, causing it to scar and collapse. The treatment usually involves multiple visits. With time, the vein will be reabsorbed into the surrounding tissue.
- Laser therapy – The doctor zaps smaller varicose veins with high-intensity light pulses in a quick procedure.
- Endovenous ablation therapy – This procedure is similar to laser therapy, but it uses radio waves to close the varicose veins.
Removing varicose vein
There are two key procedures for surgical vein removal:
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy – This is a fairly simple surgical procedure for removing varicose veins near the skin surface. The doctor starts by numbing the area before making small incisions to remove the veins. You will be awake during the procedure and can go home after a little rest.
- Vein stripping and ligation – This procedure is typically used for serious varicose veins problems. Unlike phlebectomy, this procedure is performed under general anesthesia, meaning that you’ll be asleep. After sedation, the doctor makes incisions on your skin, ties off the affected veins, and then removes them.
When you get home, it’s important that you follow the directions of your doctor to ensure proper and speedy recovery. This includes wearing your compression stockings and exercising, even when sore, to prevent blood clots.