At one time, if you wanted to get rid of your varicose veins, you had to undergo stripping surgery. Now there are other solutions available. Of course, every case is different. If your veins are deep or have medical complications, surgery may still be necessary. The first step is to see a doctor for an evaluation. These are a couple of non-surgical varicose-vein treatments your doctor may suggest.
Laser treatments are done in the doctor's office during a quick and painless procedure. The laser is applied to the surface of your skin, so this treatment is only useful for small varicose veins that are fairly close to the surface of your skin. The area is numbed first with a local anesthetic so you don't feel any pain during the laser zapping. This treatment works because the vein is damaged by the laser so that blood flow is shut off. The vein slowly shrivels and is absorbed by your body. The vein doesn't disappear immediately, but it gradually fades away. You can have multiple veins treated the same day, but you may need to have multiple visits to get rid of your problem veins completely.
There is no incision needed for these laser surface treatments, so there is no down time needed for recovery. You will walk out of the doctor's office after the procedure and be able to resume your usual activities. Although the treated veins die off and disappear, there will be no problems with circulation in your leg, since there are plenty of other veins for blood to flow through.
Sclerotherapy is also a non-surgical treatment for varicose veins, but it involves injections rather than a laser. To do this treatment, the doctor injects a solution into a vein that causes irritation and swelling to occur. The damaged vein collapses, and with blood flow shut off, the vein dies and fades away. Since the doctor has to inject each individual vein, you'll receive a local anesthetic so you won't feel any discomfort. This treatment causes your veins to disappear gradually. The smaller varicose veins fade away more quickly than the larger ones. This treatment is done in the doctor's office, and you'll be able to resume your normal activities right away. However, you'll need to avoid things that increase blood flow in your legs, such as hot baths and aerobic exercise, for a few days, and your doctor will probably have you wear compression stockings during that time.
One thing to keep in mind is that you might develop varicose veins again if you are prone to them. There are some things you can do that may help prevent the problem from recurring. Try to maintain your ideal weight and get regular exercise, even if it is only walking each day. Also, try not to sit or stand in the same position for extended periods of time or sit with your legs crossed. Increasing circulation may prevent future development of varicose veins, and one way to increase circulation is to move around frequently.