If your doctor has diagnosed varicose or spider veins, the first treatment approach may be self-care. This option includes things such as exercising, losing weight, avoiding tight-fitting clothing, elevating your legs, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
You doctor might also recommend that you wear compression stockings before moving on to other treatments. Compression stockings squeeze your legs steadily, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type and brand, and these stockings can be purchased in most pharmacies and medical supply stores.
More Advanced Treatment
If your condition does not respond to self-treatment and compression stockings, a more advanced form of treatment may be necessary.
Sclerotherapy – This procedure has been in use since the 1930s to treat both varicose and spider veins. It involves your doctor injecting small- and medium-sized varicose veins with a solution that scars and closes the veins. In a few weeks, the treated veins should fade from view.
Foam sclerotherapy of large veins – This treatment is a new technique in which a foam solution in injected into a large vein to close and seal it.
Laser surgeries – Doctors are increasingly using laser treatments to close smaller varicose and spider veins. Laser surgery works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein, making the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incision is required.
High ligation and vein stripping – This procedure involves tying off a vein before it joins a deep vein and removing the vein through small incisions. This approach is an outpatient procedure for most patients, and removing the vein will not adversely affect the circulation in your leg. The veins deeper in the leg will take care of the larger volumes of blood.
Ambulatory phlebectomy – Your doctor will remove smaller varicose veins through a series of skin punctures. This is an outpatient procedure, and only the parts of your leg that are pierced are numbed. Scaring is generally minimal.
Endoscopic vein surgery – This procedure is usually performed in advanced cases involving leg ulcers if other approaches have failed. Your surgeon uses a thin video camera inserted into your leg to visualize and close varicose veins and then removes the veins through small incisions. This procedure is also performed on an outpatient basis.
Of the various treatment options, one of Dr. Ashpole’s specialties is the use of the endovenous laser ablation for varicose veins.