Getting rid of varicose veins: Treatments that work

Varicose veins refer to enlarged, swollen and twisted veins that occur when the valves in veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction or to pool blood in the leg. 

The varicose vein appears bulging and blue or purple on the surface of the skin. 

Every person who suffers from varicose veins wants to get rid of it.

Here in this article, we will discuss-

  • Different types of varicose veins treatment that works.
  • Tips for recovering the post-surgery.
  • What kind of precautions should be taken after the surgery?

It’s essential to treat varicose veins at the beginning because if left untreated for so long it can develop into more severe issues. 

Types of varicose veins treatment

Fortunately, most of the procedures of varicose veins don’t require a hospital stay, and there is also no need to stay in bed for long. 

Numerous treatment options are available to treat varicose veins and get rid of it. But unfortunately, not all treatments are proved to be effective and safe. 

Here is the list of varicose veins treatments that work:

Most Effective treatments:

  • Minimally invasive surgeries.
  • EVLT or ELT.
  • Microphlebectomy. 
  • Sclerotherapy.
  • Laser therapy.
  • Radiofrequency treatment.
  • Compression stocking.
  • Vein stripping and ligation.
  • Endoscopic vein surgery.

The vascular surgeon uses different procedures to operate patients. They recommend and perform treatment according to the patient’s requirements. They always make sure that the patient faces minimal damage to the body and heals as quickly as possible after the surgery.

  • Minimally invasive surgery  

One of the most effective treatments to cure varicose veins is a minimally invasive treatment.

Don’t get afraid by the word surgery. It is not like traditional surgery in which surgeons make big and deep cuts. Instead of that, small tiny incisions took place on the skin to treat veins. 

Minimally invasive surgery associates less damage and less pain and also requires a short hospital stay.

There are multiple types of minimally invasive surgery available. In each and every kind of minimally invasive surgery, surgeons use an endoscope to see inside the body.  

An endoscope is a small surgical tool. It is a little thin tube with a light and a tiny camera at the end.

Types of minimally invasive surgery

  • Endovenous or venous ablation
  • Microphlebectomy
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Laser therapy 
  • Radiofrequency Therapy 
  • Endovenous Laser Therapy (ELT or EVLT)

In EVLT procedure, a tiny incision takes place, and a small catheter is inserted into the varicose vein and through this catheter heat or radiofrequency waves inside the vein. 

The heat damages the vein’s wall, and this causes the veins to collapse or shrink. 

The ablation procedure is safe, and it hardly leaves any scar on the skin after the surgery. Immediately after the process, the patient can return to daily activities. 

This procedure is also known as venous ablation, and it gives excellent long term results.

Patients can resume their everyday activities immediately after the treatment.

  • Microphlebectomy

This procedure is also known as Ambulatory phlebectomy. In this treatment, about 1-3mm length incisions are required on the skin to remove diseased veins in small segments. 

Specialised equipment with an attached hook on it will be inserted inside the vein by those incisions and used to take out the varicose veins.  

There are no sutures needed after the treatment only a bandage will be enough to cover the incisions. Usually, this procedure hardly took 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Within 24  hours of the procedure, you can start your regular activities.    

  • Sclerotherapy

This therapy is used to treat small varicose veins or spider veins. In this procedure, the doctor injects a liquid chemical or foam solution into the varicose veins by using a needle. 

The solution causes the vein to seal, and the body absorbs the veins. Those veins hardly took  2-3 weeks to disappear. 

This procedure doesn’t require any anaesthesia, and it took about only 15-20 minutes. Treatment time may vary upon the number of veins being treated. 

Patients can resume their day to day activities immediately after the procedure, and it is also needed to reduce the risk of blood clotting. 

Sclerotherapy can also be used to treat large varicose veins. 

Types of sclerotherapy

  • Laser-assisted
  • Foam sclerotherapy
  • Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy 
  • Surface laser therapy

Laser therapy is usually used to treat smaller veins. In this therapy, the doctor applied intense laser light to the surface of the skin to damage the diseased threads without damaging the nearby tissues. The active laser lights make the vein disappear slowly. 

This treatment doesn’t require any cut, needles or any bandages. It took about 15-20 minutes for this procedure, and patients can resume their work after the therapy.

  • Radiofrequency Therapy 

Radiofrequency Therapy is also a very effective treatment. In this treatment, radiofrequency heat is used instead of laser energy to heat up and make scar tissues to damage the walls inside the veins.

Radiofrequency therapy causes the vein to close and reroute the blood. 

This procedure is followed by tiny incisions taking place on the skin, and a thin catheter is inserted inside the body, used to send the radiofrequency waves inside the affected veins. 

This therapy took about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Tips for recovering after minimally invasive treatments

Usually, patients can resume their all everyday activities immediately after the procedures as mentioned above, but patients should follow some precautions.

  • Take plenty of rest after the procedure.
  • Avoid strenuous activity for some days
  • Wear compression stockings for several weeks or until the treated area healed completely.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for an extended period. 
  • Daily walk for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Elevate leg for 10 minutes.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for a couple of weeks.
  • Avoid swimming and tub baths or hot tub baths for the first week. 
  • Compression stockings

Before approaching any surgery or treatment, a patient should opt for compression stockings. 

Compression stockings may not eliminate varicose veins or unable to prevent the development of new varicose veins, but they help to reduce inflammation and other symptoms. These stockings help to move blood efficiently in the limbs. 

Compression stockings put external pressure on the legs to encourage blood flow towards the heart. 

These stockings are readily available in pharmaceutical stores.

  • Endoscopic vein surgery

When varicose veins reach its advanced stage, it needs surgery to cure.  In this procedure, surgeons will make small incisions near the varicose vein, and they will insert a tiny and thin video camera (endoscope) inside the legs to get a proper visual of damaged veins and remove them with small incisions and seal the veins from the inside.  

This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis means the patient can go home on the same day of the surgery.

After the surgery within a few weeks, patients can resume their normal activities.

  • Vein stripping and ligation  

This surgery is to eliminate bulging and twisted veins on the surface of the skin. This procedure is followed by tying the vein before it goes and joins a deep vein. Small cuts help to remove the diseased veins in the skin. 

In this treatment, surgeons make some small incisions on the skin. One incision will be in the groin region, and others will be on the leg or thigh or ankle. A thin, flexible thread-like wire will be inserted through the groin incision, and it will be tied up with the vein, and the other end of the wire will be pulled out through the cut in the lower leg or ankle. 

The surgeon will stitch the incisions and cover it with bandages and after the surgery wearing compression stockings will be recommended.

Tips for recovering from post-surgery 

  • Take rest for at least 5-7 days.
  • Wear compression stockings.
  • Daily walk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Light exercise and stretch. 
  • Keep the bandage dry.

Latest treatment 

Some latest treatment options for varicose veins also developed by researchers and doctors.  

Here are the three latest treatment 

  • Varithena 
  • Clarivein
  • Venaseal 
  • Varithena

In the year 2013, the FDA approved Varithena treatment. In this procedure, a thick foam will be inserted into the diseased vein and force it to collapse. 

This procedure is similar to foam sclerotherapy. 

Varithena treatment doesn’t require a hospital stay and the patient can return to his normal activities. 

  • Clarivein 

This treatment was approved in the year 2008. In clarivein procedure, the doctor will insert a thin and flexible catheter inside the leg. 

This catheter provides the 360-degree view of the veins.  Then the doctor injects a sclerosing agent into the infected and swollen vein, and this agent or saline solution helps to close the vein.

  • Venaseal 

The FDA approved Venaseal treatment in the year 2015. In this treatment, adhesive or thick glue will be inserted inside the damaged veins through the catheter. 

The adhesive causes the affected veins to close up. 

This procedure took about 30 minutes to complete. 

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