Proper varicose vein treatment can relieve painful symptoms, address underlying venous issues, and ensure your overall health and well-being. Start your journey here.
Living with varicose veins can be uncomfortable and distressing, as vein disease can inhibit daily life or cause other complications to your body. Thankfully, patients today can choose from many different varicose vein treatment options. Fast and non-invasive care is within reach, especially when you visit Center for Vein Restoration!
In this complete guide to varicose veins, we’ll discuss available options to get rid of varicose veins—including both non-surgical solutions and the latest minimally invasive treatments. We will also go over questions to ask your doctor before undergoing any varicose vein treatment.
Do varicose veins ever go away?
With vein treatment by a qualified vein specialist, varicose veins can become less severe or can be corrected entirely. However, varicose veins won’t disappear on their own. That means quick-fix solutions or “miracle cures” for varicose veins are, unfortunately, scams.
Sometimes, particularly if you’ve increased physical activity or lost weight, varicose veins can become less visible or less painful. But this is usually temporary, and the symptoms often return with time.
The process is slightly different for women who develop varicose veins during pregnancy. Several months after giving birth, some women may see these varicose veins disappear. For other women, their veins can actually get progressively worse after pregnancy. Treatment between pregnancies may be recommended to stop the progression of vein disease, which can be very painful after multiple pregnancies.
Some postpartum patients wear compression stockings for comfort and to speed up the healing process.
How do I get rid of varicose veins on my legs?
While there is no way to completely eliminate varicose veins on your legs without medical intervention, there are methods to manage symptoms by improving blood flow before seeking professional help.
Compression therapy is one common way to manage varicose veins on your own. Compression stockings gently squeeze veins in the legs, helping blood return to the heart and thus reducing swelling. By promoting better blood circulation, compression therapy can prevent the progression of varicose veins and related issues.
Other ways to promote vein health without medical intervention include:
Elevating your feet. Whenever you’re relaxing, sleeping, or sitting down for long periods of time, relieve pressure by raising your legs higher than your heart. You can place several pillows or a wedge-shaped cushion under your feet or rest them on a nearby chair.
Exercising weekly. Try to be active for half an hour every day, at least five days a week. Use caution when choosing your activity, however. Heavy weightlifting or other strenuous activities can further strain your vein valves. Conversely, walking and gentle movement can safely improve leg circulation, especially those activities that flex the calf muscles.
Evaluating your lifestyle. Sedentary jobs, diet, carrying extra weight, and illnesses such as high blood pressure or diabetes could impact varicose vein severity. Making healthy choices every day can go a long way in relieving symptoms.
These preventative measures can help you manage varicose veins, but they won’t eliminate them. As mentioned earlier, the only way to get rid of varicose veins on your legs is to seek treatment from a qualified medical professional.
Which is the best treatment for varicose veins?
There are many treatment options for varicose veins, each with advantages and disadvantages. Different treatments work best for different types of varicose veins. Some treatment plans may include more than one procedure.
All this means is that there is no single “best” varicose vein treatment option.
At CVR, effective varicose vein treatment is personalized for a patient's individual needs based on the patient's diagnosis, lifestyle, and preferences.
The sooner you begin receiving treatment for your varicose veins, the sooner you can live a symptom-free lifestyle. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to serious medical issues, such as venous ulcers and blood clots. That’s why it’s important to get the varicose vein treatment you need as soon as possible.
What is the latest treatment for varicose veins?
Many of the latest varicose vein treatments are quick, minimally-invasive procedures that work well for modern patient lifestyles.
During the non-surgical Varithena procedure, a small amount of microfoam is injected into the affected vein, irritating the vein wall and collapsing the vein. Blood is redirected to healthy veins.
Varithena is appropriate for varicose veins above or below the knee with a wide range of diameters. Twisted varicose veins that haven’t responded to other treatment methods can find success with Varithena.
After treatment with Varithena, patients can expect mild bruising and pain that usually fades quickly.
Similar to Varithena, ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy involves the injection of a medicine called sclerosant into the problem vein. The foam sclerosant initiates a reaction that closes the vein shut and blood is rerouted to healthier veins.
During this process, the vein specialist will use ultrasonography to guide the needle’s placement into the affected vein. Generally, no downtime is necessary with ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, and you’ll be able to resume your normal activities immediately with few limitations.
During VenaSeal, a proprietary medical adhesive closes off the affected veins without using heat or sclerosants. This procedure carries less risk of nerve injury and tends to be more comfortable than other varicose vein treatments.
VenaSeal is an appropriate treatment for most varicose veins, including those located deeper within the leg. Because VenaSeal doesn’t require multiple injections, patients will experience minimal pain and time commitment.
ClariVein is a fast and relatively painless procedure that combines two approaches to varicose vein treatment. That is, injecting a sclerosing agent to close the vein and deploying a tiny rotating wire tip to destroy the diseased vein.
ClariVein takes less than 30 minutes and only requires one small incision into the vein. Many patients find that treatment with ClariVein is not painful, comparing the sensation of ClariVein treatment to a series of minor pinching along the length of the vein.
A thin laser fiber is inserted into the affected varicose vein through the skin during laser ablation. This laser heats the vein, causing it to close. The closed vein is then reabsorbed into the body, and blood is naturally rerouted.
Laser ablation is an ideal treatment for large, symptomatic varicose veins caused by saphenous vein reflux.
During radiofrequency ablation, a thin catheter is inserted into the affected vein through the skin which emits radio waves. The radio waves heat specific areas of the varicose vein, causing it to close.
Radiofrequency ablation is very similar to laser ablation. Aside from the types of heat that is emitted during the procedure, laser and radiofrequency ablation follow the same treatment and healing process. Both procedures require a follow-up ultrasound to check for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
This varicose vein treatment is a relatively minor surgical procedure, often conducted at the same time as laser or radiofrequency ablation. It involves extracting the diseased varicose vein, removing it through tiny incisions made in the skin.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is best used for veins below the knee in the calf area or veins on the thigh's side anterior or lateral aspect. Because the incisions are so small, only a local anesthetic is needed for this procedure.
Which varicose vein treatment is right for me?
It can be daunting to try and find the right varicose vein treatment for you. Start by speaking with a vein expert about your varicose vein symptoms and concerns. A physician will review your diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
Remember, there is no “miracle cure” for varicose veins such as pills, special juices, or other magical self-care remedies. The only way to permanently alleviate the appearance, symptoms, and potential health complications of varicose veins is to seek professional, medical treatment with a vein specialist.
Along with understanding your diagnosis and history, you and your vein specialist will discuss the severity of your varicose veins. Many vein specialists and doctors use CEAP classification to understand the severity of your varicose veins and develop a treatment plan.
Determining factors when choosing your varicose vein treatment
Vein specialists use the CEAP classification system to give varicose veins a Clinical Score, ranging from 0 to 6 in terms of severity. CEAP allows for a more precise diagnosis and helps standardize vein disease classification across practitioners.
C0 — No visible, detectable varicose veins and no related symptoms
C1 — Telangiectasia (thread, spider, or broken veins)
C2A — Asymptomatic varicose veins
C2S — Symptomatic varicose veins
C3 — Edema (swollen ankle) from varicose veins or hidden varicose veins (venous reflux)
C4 — Skin damage due to varicose veins or venous reflux
C5 — Healed venous leg ulcer
C6 — Venous leg ulcer
For less severe cases of varicose veins (C2A and below), the vein specialist may recommend at-home treatments such as leg elevation, compression stockings, and lifestyle changes including exercise and diet.
After a thorough medical history and diagnostic ultrasound, the CVR physician may recommend treating patients experiencing moderate to severe vein disease symptoms. The CVR vein specialist will develop a detailed, customized treatment plan to present to the patient.
At CVR, our physicians offer state-of-the-art, minimally invasive treatment options that relieve discomfort and improve how your legs look. We will then work with the patient's insurance criteria to get the coverage to which the patient is entitled.
Questions to ask your doctor when treating varicose veins
It’s essential to ask your doctor any questions you may have when beginning your varicose vein treatment. No question is too big or too small!
Here are five sample questions to ask your doctor or vein specialist:
1. Is varicose vein treatment expensive?
At CVR, we don't initiate any treatments until patients understand their financial responsibility. Feel free to discuss any financial concerns you have openly and honestly regarding your varicose vein treatment. Remember that at-home treatments may end up costing more than medical procedures in the long run.
2. Will my insurance cover my varicose vein treatment?
Varicose vein treatments can be expensive, especially when not covered by insurance. Center for Vein works with most insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid and will assist you in getting coverage for your treatment. Treatment is not initiated until patients understand their financial responsibility.
3. What is the least painful treatment for varicose veins?
All treatments offered at CVR are minimally invasive and well-tolerated. Patients often express surprise about just how comfortable the procedures are. Ask your CVR specialist about what you can expect, including the recovery process and what to do (or not do) before and after your procedure.
4. What can I do now to prevent my varicose veins from worsening?
Seeking professional treatment for your varicose veins is the first step towards recovery, not the last. Your vein specialist can help you make lifestyle changes to prevent varicose veins from worsening.
Varicose vein treatment with CVR
At Center for Vein Restoration, we help patients find the right varicose vein treatment plan to meet their unique needs. Our experts can guide you throughout the varicose vein diagnosis, treatment process, and beyond. Schedule a consultation with us today!