Treatment can successfully erase varicose veins. But you may need more than one treatment.
Perhaps you’ve recently finished your first treatment for varicose veins, and you can already see the protruding veins begin to fade. The pain and swelling have also diminished. You’re probably now wondering whether this is a one-and-done remedy or if you'll need more treatments in the future.
Depending upon the severity and number of your varicose veins, you may require more than one procedure to eliminate the swollen, painful veins. Following up with your doctor in the weeks after treatment can also help lower the chances of varicose veins returning since the success of vein treatment depends much on what you do during your recovery period.
How many treatments do I need for varicose veins?
Sclerotherapy is an office procedure that treats smaller varicose veins and spider veins. A safe, saline-based solution is injected into the vein, causing the vein walls to close and become reabsorbed into the body. Some patients may need multiple sclerotherapy sessions to eliminate all of their varicose veins successfully. Generally, treated varicose veins diminish within three to four months, while spider veins fade within three to six weeks.
Radiofrequency ablation is typically reserved for larger varicose veins. Your doctor will insert a catheter into the vein that emits heated radiofrequency waves to collapse the vein. Blood is diverted to healthier nearby veins. As with sclerotherapy, you may need several treatments to eliminate all problem varicose veins. However, you should notice an immediate reduction in swelling and pain after treatment. Your doctor can inform you of the number of follow-up treatments you’ll need.
With some lifestyle changes, patients typically don’t see the recurrence of treated veins. However, new varicose veins could still form. If you continue living a sedentary lifestyle, stand or sit for long periods of time, or if you have a family history of vein disease, you may be prone to developing varicose veins even after treatment. To maintain healthy veins, follow up with your doctor and take steps to care for your veins.
What to do after treatment
Two to four weeks after initial treatment, you’ll visit your vein specialist to review how well you are healing. At that time, the doctor will recommend further treatment if necessary. To promote healing and lessen the risk of new varicose veins, try these after-treatment tips:
Exercise. The best thing you can do for your veins is to move! Try to walk for 30 minutes daily to get the blood pumping in the leg veins and prevent swelling. Until you are fully healed, skip strenuous exercises such as weightlifting or intense running.
Change Your Diet. A vein-friendly diet based on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats supports vein health. Cut out fats, sugars, and salt. A healthy diet also helps manage your weight, and losing those extra pounds lifts the pressure off your veins.
Wear Compression Stockings. Your doctor will ask you to wear compression stockings to promote healing after treatment. Although the garments may initially feel uncomfortable, compression stockings play an essential role in your recovery. The socks promote smooth blood flow by gently applying pressure to the leg veins, lowering the chance of further swelling.
Don’t Sit or Stand for Too Long. Sitting or standing all day allows the blood in the leg veins to pool, causing pain and swelling. Getting up from your desk every 30 minutes or something as simple as flexing your ankles can promote blood flow. If you’re standing for hours, try to sit down for a bit to give your veins a breather.
Get treatment for your varicose veins
Varicose veins can be painful and make you self-conscious. But you don’t have to live this way! Treatments are available at all Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) offices. Our experienced physicians can tailor a treatment plan for you and guide you through the procedure and recovery.
Contact one of our offices today for a consultation, or call 1-800-FIX-LEGS to speak to a dedicated Patient Services Representative. You can also easily schedule online.