Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, painful veins that have filled with blood.
Sclerotherapy; Laser therapy - varicose veins; Radiofrequency vein ablation; Endovenous thermal ablation; Ambulatory phlebectomy; Transilluminated power phlebotomy; Endovenous laser ablation; Varicose vein therapy
Varicose veins most often develop in the legs. They often stick out and are blue in color.
- Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing up toward the heart, so the blood does not collect in one place.
- The valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to become filled with blood, especially when you are standing.
The following treatments for varicose veins can be done in a health care provider's office or clinic. You will receive local anesthesia to numb your leg. You will be awake, but will not feel pain.
Sclerotherapy works best for spider veins. These are small varicose veins.
- Salt water (saline) or a chemical solution is injected into the varicose vein.
- The vein will harden and then disappear.
Laser treatment can be used on the surface of the skin. Small bursts of light make small varicose veins disappear.
Phlebectomy treats surface varicose veins. Very small cuts are made near the damaged vein. Then the vein is removed. One method uses a light under the skin to guide treatment.
This may be done along with other procedures, such as ablation.
Ablation uses intense heat to treat the vein. There are two methods. One uses radiofrequency energy and the other uses laser energy. During these procedures:
- Your doctor will puncture the varicose vein.
- Your doctor will thread a flexible tube (catheter) through the vein up to your groin.
- The catheter will send intense heat to the vein. The heat will close off and destroy the vein and the vein will disappear over time.