Dealing with varicose veins is a challenge that roughly one-third of all adults face. Those swollen veins can leave you feeling sore and self-conscious. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available. Let’s take a closer look at the most common treatment for varicose veins and see if it’s right for you.
Getting to know varicose veins
Before we dive into treatments, it helps to understand what causes varicose veins. In healthy veins, small valves keep blood flowing in one direction—toward your heart. But with varicose veins, these valves leak, allowing blood to pool. This is what causes the bulging, aching, and swelling that you experience.
What is the most common surgical treatment for varicose veins?
The most common treatment for varicose veins is called endovenous thermal ablation. Let’s break that down:
Endovenous means inside the vein.
Thermal means heat.
Ablation means removing or destroying tissue.
In plain English, this minimally invasive procedure uses heat to close off problematic veins from the inside. This stops blood from pooling, thereby putting an end to your symptoms. You may want to check out our article How Varicose Vein Surgery is Done to learn more.
There are two types of endovenous thermal ablation that can be done: endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Both methods are safe and effective, but RFA patients tend to experience less discomfort and greater satisfaction with their results.
How does endovenous thermal ablation compare to other treatment options?
There are two other minimally invasive options available for treating varicose veins. Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy involves using a special medicine to collapse the problem vein. Meanwhile, vein glue uses a medical-grade adhesive to close the vein. Each approach has its pros and cons, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional about what might work best for you.
What is the most common non-surgical treatment for varicose veins?
If you’re not quite ready for a surgical solution, compression stockings can provide relief from symptoms of varicose veins such as aching, swelling, and leg fatigue. These special stockings can reduce discomfort by squeezing your leg and helping to improve blood flow. It’s important to note that compression stockings only offer supportive care and will not get rid of your varicose veins. Whereas, surgery is a permanent solution that is covered by insurance and has no downtime.
Dealing with varicose veins doesn’t have to be a struggle. The most common treatment, endovenous thermal ablation, offers a promising way to get rid of those bothersome veins. Whether you opt for this approach or explore other minimally invasive options, the goal is the same: to help you find relief and enjoy life without the discomfort of varicose veins.