When it comes to varicose vein removal, most procedures are safe when performed by an experienced specialist. Traditionally, physicians and surgeons relied on a surgical process known as vein stripping to remove troublesome veins. But this procedure is no longer recommended because there are safer and more effective alternatives with no downtime.
Today, patients have several options for non-invasive treatments for the varicose vein removal, including:
This is a painless procedure that involves the physician injecting a solution (sclerosant) into the varicose vein to cause it to collapse and divert blood flow to healthier veins. There are different types of sclerotherapy, as follows:
- Liquid sclerotherapy – recommended to treat spider veins
- Foam sclerotherapy – recommended for the treatment of larger veins because foam sclerosant travels further than the liquid solution. This is the most advanced and least invasive treatment for small to medium size varicose veins and/or spider veins
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy – used to treat large, deep veins that would typically require surgical treatment
Your body gradually destroys the collapsed vein, causing it to disappear in a few weeks. The procedure is painless and has no downtime.
This procedure requires the physician to transmit radio frequency energy (radio waves) through the vein wall. First the skin is numbed, and then the vein is cannulated with a needle, after which a catheter is introduced in the vein to heat it from the inside, destroying the vein wall. The doctor uses an ultrasound to help guide the catheter, usually from the knee towards the groin. The damaged vein is eventually reabsorbed by the body and disappears in few months.
The physician uses a similar process as with radiofrequency ablation, except using laser energy to deliver the heat. Ablation is recommended for the treatment of straight leg veins.
What to Expect
Although these treatments are generally safe and effective, you should discuss the best option with your vein specialist depending on your specific case. Things such as medications, allergies, chronic conditions, and pregnancy, among others can complicate your treatment and recovery if the physician is not aware of them beforehand. Please visit the Center for Vein Wellness or schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah to discuss your case and varicose vein treatment options.