Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen and twisted blue-colored veins that are located near the surface of the skin. Although they can occur anywhere on the body, in the vast majority of cases, varicose veins occur in the legs or ankles. Varicose veins are caused by the one-way valves in the legs, which normally function to prevent back-flow of the blood, being damaged or weakened, which in turn leads to blood accumulating in the damaged vein, causing the characteristic bulging and swollen appearance. (1)

There are several risk factors for developing varicose veins, including being female, being older, being sedentary and being overweight, obese or pregnant. Other risk factors are having a family history of varicose veins or a job where you spend prolonged periods of time sitting or standing as this increases the pressure on the veins. (2)

In addition to the aesthetic and cosmetic issues associated with varicose veins, they can cause a number of symptoms if left untreated. Common symptoms include pain, swelling and itching over the affected vein as well as a number of skin problems such as dryness, scaling and color changes. In very severe (and rare) cases, dermatitis, chronic inflammation, skin ulcers,and even blood clots may occur. (3)

Fortunately, there are several effective varicose vein removal techniques available.

The Vein Removal Process

There are numerous varicose vein removal methods available, both surgical and non-surgical. One treatment option is Venefit, a procedure in which a small incision, or even just a needle puncture, is made, which enables a small catheter containing a special electrode to be passed into the saphenous vein, the longest superficial vein in the legs. This electrode produces radio frequency energy that closes the varicose vein. (2)

A second popular treatment method is endovenous laser ablation, also known as “EVLA,” which involves the insertion of a small-diameter laser filament into the vein through a needle puncture. These methods, as well as the majority of other available varicose vein removal treatment options, are minimally-invasive, highly effective, safe, quick and associated with minimum down time afterwards. (2)

A third popular treatment method is ambulatory phlebectomy. This treatment removes varicose veins by using micro incisions that are around the same size as a needle puncture. The results of this procedure include improved function in legs and esthetic appearance. (2)

If you’re suffering from varicose veins or any other vein disease, don’t wait until your symptoms worsen and you have to undergo extensive treatment — contact your vein care specialist today and discuss which treatment option is best suited for your needs.