For seemingly simple and straightforward procedures, it is surprising that not all varicose vein treatments are successful. These purple, bulging or ropey blood vessels may be unsightly, but they don’t necessarily cause pain or any serious symptoms. Unfortunately, this may cause some physicians to handle your case like any other without trying to identify the underlying problem, resulting in unsatisfactory results.

The Top 5 Mistakes in Varicose Vein Treatment | Los Angeles & Ventura

Here are some common mistakes in varicose vein treatment to watch out for to ensure that you get good results:

Incomplete Initial Examination

If your varicose veins don’t cause any pain, your physician may fail to perform proper and complete assessment of the troublesome veins. For instance, the physician may skip the use of ultrasound to examine the underlying veins, or delegate some of the assessments to other members of the staff who may not have the skills or knowledge to perform proper diagnosis.

Postponing the Treatment

Although the symptoms for varicose veins are not severe, you should keep in mind that they won’t go away by themselves. In fact, they will keep getting worse with time. So if you notice some aching, swelling, throbbing, or heaviness in the affected limb, it is important that you visit a vein specialist as soon as possible to prevent the problem from escalating.

Wrong Treatment

This is usually the result of improper diagnosis or visiting a physician who does not have experience handling such cases. There are two likely scenarios:

  • First, the physician may choose to perform an older treatment that he/she is more familiar with, such as surgical vein stripping or ligation, instead of less invasive treatments that are safer and more effective, such as thermal ablation or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy.
  • Second, the physician may choose the wrong treatment for your case, perhaps if you are concerned about the cost. For instance, although sclerotherapy is cheaper than other treatments, it is not recommended for treating large varicose veins because of the increased risk of soreness, hyperpigmentation, inflammation and recurrence.

Vein Treatment from Center for Vein Wellness

If you have vein problems, you should have them checked out by a physician with expertise in the field. A vein specialist is unlikely to make such mistakes, and will be current with the newest treatments to increase the chances of satisfactory results. Please visit the Center for Vein Wellness or schedule a consultation with Dr. Shah to discuss your case and varicose vein treatment options.

Compression therapy involves the use of compression socks or stockings to promote healthy blood circulation in your legs and feet. The elastic hosiery is designed so it’s tightest at the ankle and loosens gradually higher on the leg. They work by compressing surface veins, which helps to maintain steady blood flow back to the heart.

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

Compression stockings are a form of self-care therapy for varicose veins, spider veins, and chronic venous insufficiency. Your physician may recommend them during the day to help relieve serious symptoms of varicose veins, including:

  • Fatigue and pain
  • Aching or heavy legs
  • Restless legs
  • Swollen ankles
  • Night cramps

Mild symptoms of swelling and aching can be successfully managed using regular, cost-effective thigh-high, knee-high, or panty hose compression stockings.

How Compression Therapy Works

Your veins function best when lying in a horizontal position as opposed to when standing or sitting, especially when your valves are damaged. In the mornings, your calves and ankles usually feel fine, and only get heavy and swollen later in the day.

If you wear your compression socks in the morning before lowering your legs to get out of bed, you can maintain the proper function of the valves, promoting healthy blood flow in your legs all day.

Finding the Right Compression Level

As effective as compression therapy may be for managing varicose veins symptoms, you should avoid wearing the socks unless your doctor recommends them and helps you find the right fit for you. If you choose the wrong size, the socks can restrict blood flow, making the symptoms worse.

The different levels of compression include:

  • Mild compression – for mild cases of chronic venous insufficiency
  • Moderate compression – help to manage common symptoms of varicose or spider veins
  • Firm or extra firm compression – recommended for serious venous diseases like leg ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and lymphatic edema

Choosing the right compression level is vital for successful compression therapy and optimal comfort. Your physician can help you find the best size for your case.

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Leg veins have a difficult task propelling blood against gravity and resistance from your bodyweight, back to your heart. They rely on muscle contraction and expansion to push the blood, while the valves prevent the backflow of blood. Varicose veins symptoms may start to appear with age.

The valves can weaken and stop functioning properly. This may in turn cause the blood to flow backwards, pool in the superficial veins – those closer to the surface of the skin – and make those blood vessels bigger.

Varicose Veins Symptoms

Varicose Veins Symptoms

If the affected veins do not cause any pain or discomfort, you can tell that they’re varicose veins if:

  • They appear dark blue or purple in color
  • They are bulging and twisted – appear like cords running on the surface of your legs

In some cases, varicose veins may cause discomfort in the form of:

  • Itching around the veins
  • Swelling and throbbing, burning, muscle cramping in the lower legs
  • Heavy feeling in the legs – achy
  • Increased pain after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Red skin discoloration with a throbbing cord inside the vein
  • Minor bleeding from the varicose veins – when they burst
  • Vein hardening, color changes, and skin inflammation or ulcers around the ankle, all of which indicate a more serious vascular disease

Varicose veins can also cause complications. Though very rare, you can experience:

  • Blood clots – In very rare cases, the veins deep inside your legs can also become enlarged, causing blood clots that make the leg swell significantly. This condition is medically referred to as deep venous thrombosis and needs immediate medical attention.
  • Ulcers – Prolonged fluid buildup in the tissues near varicose veins around the ankles, due to the increased blood pressure within affected veins, can cause very painful ulcers to form. Ulcers are usually preceded by a discolored spot on your skin, at which point you should seek immediate attention.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Although you cannot completely keep varicose veins from forming, those at high risk – due to family history, age, obesity, or jobs that involve extended sitting or standing – can reduce the risk by improving circulation through exercising, adjusting your sitting and standing position regularly, elevating your legs when sitting, and wearing compression stockings. If self-care doesn’t help, you should see a doctor.

Blood returning to the heart from the feet and legs has to flow upwards against gravity. The calf and thigh muscles help to pump blood up and valves in the veins prevent the backward flow towards the feet.

Venous insufficiency, the root of most vein issues, occurs when your veins dilate (widen and stretch) and the valves are unable to close properly. This reduces the ability of the affected veins to return blood to the heart, causing them to bulge.

Spider Veins vs Varicose Veins

Spider Veins

When the small blood vessels near the surface of your skin dilate, they become visible as tiny red or blue veins on the surface of the skin called spider veins. Some clusters of spider veins can appear like a bruise.

Spider veins are not harmful, and typically form due to hormonal changes, pregnancy, heredity, or injury. However, their appearance can make you self-conscious.

Varicose Veins

When a vein dilates, and the valves cannot effectively close to prevent the backflow of blood, varicose veins start appearing on the skin surface. Pressure from blood backing up in your veins can cause the veins to bulge and appear twisted or ropy. Your leg may also swell and ache, and feel full, heavy, and fatigued.

Any problems that affect the saphenous veins can interfere with the side veins that drain into them, causing the smaller veins to dilate and become varicose. Varicose veins are larger than spider veins, and are usually associated with changes in skin color, bleeding, and ulcers. In some cases, blood in the varicose vein can clot, causing the wall to become inflamed and result in swelling, redness, or sudden pain in the affected area.

What to Do

If varicose veins or spider veins are causing you to feel self-conscious, you should see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Varicose veins mostly affect older or pregnant women due to the combination of hormonal imbalances and increased inflammation that causes the veins to lose their natural elasticity. But they also affect both men and women of all ages, and are most visible among people with light skin.

Varicose veins home & natural treatments

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage varicose veins, ranging from conservative (lifestyle changes, medications, and medical stockings) to minimally invasive (such as endoluminal ablation) to invasive (ligation and stripping) to hybrid (combination or techniques).

Varicose veins are the result of an underlying venous insufficiency disorder that can be managed through at-home care. Most doctors and vein specialists recommend that patients try lifestyle adjustments and natural remedies before seeking invasive solutions. The most common options include:

  • Regular exercise – The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute claims that prolonged standing or sitting with poor posture increases the risk of blood pooling disorders such as varicose veins. Exercise helps to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – Excess body weight increases the burden of veins to push blood up your legs against gravity, which results in inflammation or reflux in the larger superficial veins, including the saphenous veins in your legs.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet – Consuming foods that improve blood flow and reverse inflammation can help to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Suggested foods include those with high levels of fiber (flax seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables), antioxidants (mainly vitamins C and E sources like cayenne pepper and parsley), magnesium (bananas, sweet potatoes, and green veggies), fish and seafood, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Essential oils – Rubbing a few drops of cypress essential oil on the affected area twice a day can help reduce inflammation, manage hormonal imbalances, and improve blood flow. Diluted tea tree, olive oil, lavender oil, and peppermint also work well with varicose veins.

These natural remedies can not only reduce the risk of blood pooling in the veins, but also offer other benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, clearer skin, better digestion, and more energy. In addition, they pose little to no risk and are cost effective compared to office-based treatments.

Many people seek varicose vein treatment because of cosmetic concerns. However, they can also cause physical discomfort like pain, restlessness, heaviness in the legs, and fatigue. These symptoms can wear you out, slow you down, and affect your productivity.

Varicose veins pain relief

Fortunately, you can find pain relief through simple lifestyle changes and fast, non-invasive in-office treatments for varicose veins. Here’re some options to consider:

1. At-home treatments

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes to help manage the pain and other varicose veins symptoms. Some recommendations include exercising, losing weight, regular leg elevation, and wearing compression socks.

2. In-office minimally invasive treatments

If at-home care doesn’t result in any gainful improvements, you should discuss with your doctor about modern office-based varicose vein treatment. These minimally invasive treatments include:

  • Endovenous Radiofrequency Therapy – Involves the use of radiofrequency heat energy to seal the problematic saphenous vein and forcibly reroute blood flow to deeper veins
  • Endovenous Laser Treatment – Involves the use of laser heat energy to collapse the walls of the varicose vein and cause it to close
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy – Involves the removal of large, bulging veins by making tiny incisions in the skin. For best results, this procedure may be combined with laser treatments.

Office-based minimally invasive varicose vein treatments are performed under local anesthesia. They also provide little-to-no scarring, minimal downtime, and quick recovery, and any soreness can be managed with a prescription. You can resume normal activities immediately, though you should wait for 1-2 weeks before doing anything strenuous.

Varicose veins may be hereditary and are a chronic problem that will likely accompany you for your lifetime. There’s little you can do about your age, gender, or genetics. That said, you can avoid the common risk factors to help delay the development of varicose veins, or at least keep them from progressing.

How to prevent varicose veins

You can achieve this by:

  • Staying active: Keep your leg muscles engaged to maintain proper blood flow. Great exercises include swimming, walking, and flexing leg muscles.
  • Avoiding high heels: Reducing the use of high heels, or completely avoiding them. High heels tend to limit the ability of the calf to pump blood, which in turn increases the risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Avoiding heat: The sun, sauna, and extended hot baths heat the skin and cause the veins to dilate in order to dissipate heat. This will encourage blood to flow via the superficial veins, rather than deep veins, increasing the risk of varicose veins.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight: Excess weight overloads the circulation, disrupts your blood pressure, and contributes to varicose veins.
  • Wearing medicinal stockings as instructed by your doctor: Elastic stockings are the most common preventive measure. They work by deviating blood from the superficial veins, where varicose veins are likely to form, to the deeper veins.

If you spend a lot of your time on your feet because of your profession – teaching, hairdressing, healthcare, cooking – follow this procedure to relieve the symptoms temporarily:

Step 1: Lie down

Step 2: Raise your legs about 6 inches above your heart level

Step 3: Maintain this position for 10 minutes, and repeat several times a day

Lastly, if you start experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins, including pain, aches, and fatigue, you should visit a qualified doctor to diagnose the origin of venous reflux in your legs, the cause, and discuss available treatment options.

You don’t necessarily need to treat your varicose veins if they aren’t causing any discomfort. However, you may choose to remove varicose veins on your legs:

  • To ease associated symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and discomfort
  • To treat complications like swelling, skin discoloration, and leg ulcers
  • For cosmetic purposes if you’re self-conscious and feel the need to keep your legs covered

Best treatment for varicose veins

If your doctor determines that you need treatment, 12 weeks of self-care may be recommended before the veins can be treated through minimally invasive procedures. Home care involves:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing your weight
  • Use of compression stockings
  • Elevating your legs when resting – sitting or lying down
  • Avoid standing for prolonged periods

In the event that your varicose veins require further treatment, or if the symptoms are making you uncomfortable, your doctor can help you find the right treatment depending on your overall health, as well as the position, size, and severity of your varicose veins.

The Best Treatment for Varicose Veins

Lifestyle changes are arguably the best treatment for varicose veins. This is because varicose veins are likely to appear for the rest of your life. Even if you treat the troublesome ones, others will likely appear in future if you don’t make an effort to suppress them with proper at-home care.

For immediate results, your doctor may recommend endovenous laser treatment. According to a 2014 publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, endovenous treatment is the best way to treat varicose veins. It is not only minimally invasive, but the procedure is also very fast (less than one hour), has reduced downtime, and is unlikely to lead to complications compared to other treatments.

It is best to discuss your options for your specific case with your surgeon.

Compression stockings allow you to manage varicose veins without having to go to a surgeon. But they are not suitable for everyone and they do not correct the underlying problem. Your surgeon may recommend a minimally invasive procedure such as endothermal ablation to treat the leaky veins.

How to remove varicose veins on legs

Endothermal Ablation

In most cases, your doctor or surgeon will recommend endothermal ablation for treating leaky veins. The procedure involves the use of:

  • energy from lasers (endovenous laser treatment) or
  • high-frequency radio waves (radiofrequency ablation) to seal the leaky veins.
Here’s what to expect:
  • Radiofrequency ablation – The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the lowest point of the leaky vein, inserts a thin tube into the affected area using an ultrasound scan, and then inserts a catheter into that narrow tube. The catheter sends radiofrequency energy to heat the vein. This causes the walls to collapse and close and seal the vein shut. After this, blood is naturally redirected to other healthy veins.
  • Endovenous laser treatment – The procedure is similar to RF ablation, except that a laser catheter is inserted in the vein. It is then slowly guided downwards as it emits laser energy to seal the vein.

Both procedures are performed under local anesthesia.


If you are not a good candidate for endothermal ablation treatment, your doctor may recommend sclerotherapy. Here, the surgeon injects special foam into the veins to initiate scarring and sealing. The results take a few weeks to show, and you may need multiple treatments if the veins reappear.

Ligation and Stripping

If none of the other treatments are suitable for you, then a surgical procedure known as vein ligation and stripping may be your only option to remove the affected veins.

$50 OFF – Regular Spider Vein Sclerotherapy Session

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