Varicose veins can cause a variety of symptoms and problems in addition to being visually unappealing. For these reasons, many elect to have them removed. Luckily, there are numerous minimally invasive varicose vein removal methods to choose from, all of which are effective and affordable. In fact, if the varicose veins are associated with venous reflex disease or severe symptoms like pain, the procedure may even be covered by insurance. 

However, not all treatments for varicose veins are effective on all types of varicose veins. The optimal treatment strategy should be customized based on your individual needs upon consultation with a vein specialist. Below are some of the most common and effective varicose vein removal techniques.

Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is the original varicose vein removal method and has been used since the 1930s. The procedure involves injecting a special sclerosing solution into the varicose vein. This causes the vein to become non-functional and to shrink, eventually fading from view. While sclerotherapy is a highly effective method for small varicose veins as well as spider veins, it is not effective for very large veins.

Venefit

Venefit refers to a procedure involving radio frequency ablation of the greater saphenous vein to treat venous reflux and/or varicose veins in the legs. During the Venefit procedure, the vein specialist will access the saphenous vein using a hollow needle, through which a very thin wire is inserted. The needle is then removed and a small catheter is inserted into the vein. It is through this catheter that the radio frequency energy and not laser is supplied. As the catheter is slowly withdrawn, the vein will close behind it, eventually resulting in it shrinking and fading away.

The procedure generally takes no more than an hour, and most non-strenous, normal activities can be resumed immediately after. Venefit has approximately a 95 percent success rate.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) is very similar to Venefit. Much like in the Venefit procedure, the vein specialist will access the greater saphenous vein using a hollow needle, and a thin wire will be passed through this needle. After the needle has been withdrawn, a slightly larger device, known as an “introducer,” is passed in over the wire, and the wire is removed. A tiny laser filament is then passed through the introducer into the vein and threaded up to within 1.5 centimeters of the saphenofemoral junction in the groin. Laser energy is then supplied and the filament is withdrawn at a rate that causes the vein to close.

After the procedure, most normal activities can be resumed later the same day, although a compression stocking will need to be worn for the first week or so.

Laser Therapy

For very small varicose veins or spider veins, laser therapy is another potential treatment option. Laser treatment works by inducing heat damage to the veins, thereby causing them to stop functioning and eventually disappear. Commonly a combination of laser therapy and sclerotherapy is performed for small varicose veins.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Unlike sclerotherapy and laser treatments, in ambulatory phlebectomy, the vein is manually removed. This procedure is best suited for large varicose veins and is conducted through several micro-incisions. Due to the tiny size of these incisions, the procedure is generally scar-free and provides excellent results.

Depending on the size and condition of your varicose veins, one or a combination of two or more of these varicose vein removal methods should be able to fix your problem. Contact your vein specialist today to book a free consultation and discuss which option is best for you.