Day after day, you hope your varicose veins will vanish. But no matter what home remedies you seem to try, nothing makes these unsightly blemishes disappear. However, there are multiple medical solutions that you can use to make them go away for good. However, this opens up a lot of questions. What are these treatments? Is vein treatment painful? What is the aftercare like?
Well, you don't have to worry any longer! We're here to present you with this guide to everything you need to know about vein treatment. So without further ado, let's take a look at these treatments.
Is Vein Treatment Painful?
The short answer is that vein treatment is not painful. All of the treatment options are minimally invasive, as none of them involve cutting anything open or putting you under. The biggest 'pain' point will involve getting injected with a needle, but the doctor applies anesthesia to the vein site so no pain comes from there.
One of the only times you would have to worry about going under the knife is if you elect for a surgery known as (opens in a new tab). This involves a surgeon making small incisions in your leg and inserting wires to either cut or tie off the veins causing your varicose or spider veins. That said, innovations in technology have made this practice effectively obsolete.
There do exist other forms of more invasive surgery for dealing with varicose veins, but these are only used when the problem is very severe.
The first main type of vein treatment is laser ablation or using laser energy to destroy any pieces of tissue causing the vein problem.
First, the doctor will use an ultrasound machine (similar to those used with pregnant women), which bounces sonic waves around your body to form a clear image of the affected vein. Then, they'll inject a small catheter into the vein to apply anesthesia. This not only helps prevent pain but relaxes the nerve around the catheter.
Once the vein relaxes, a tiny amount of laser energy goes into the catheter, which causes it to heat up and seal the vein closed through cauterization. After the catheter gets removed, your body will ignore the closed vein and re-route your blood flow through different veins, removing any varicose or spider veins present.
The procedure does not take very long as 'surgeries' go, but you will need to wear protective goggles. The only pain in the procedure should be a few pricks from the anesthetic insertion.
Once the procedure is done, you'll need to wear a (opens in a new tab) or a kind of bandage that restricts the affected area and eases up as it goes. This prevents blood clots and helps to ease potential bruising.
Recovery only takes a few days and you should be able to go about your daily life (though no strenuous exercise for the first couple of days). Other things you can do to ease the recovery process include keeping your legs from staying stationary for too long, eating well, and keeping your legs elevated for short periods.
Variations on a Theme
There is also a variation on laser ablation that sways out the catheter to instead use direct laser energy. In this case, the vein gets bombarded with lasers until it closes up and fades. No surgery shows up here too, as the lasers get applied to your skin and seep inside rather than needing direct contact. Unlike laser ablation, however, this treatment will require multiple visits across several weeks to complete. Laser ablation only takes one visit and a follow-up to check your progress.
This process is very similar to that of laser ablation. However, instead of lasers, radio waves are used to heat the catheter and seal the vein shut. It also has a speedy recovery time, though there are rare cases of burning or numbness in the affected area. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to counter any inflammations of the operated veins (laser ablations patients deal with this too).
If ablation doesn't sound like a good choice for you, sclerotherapy could be more your speed. It's designed to treat moderate to small cases of varicose veins that are closer to the skin (deeper veins are better treated with ablation).
With this procedure, your doctor will inject a special salt solution into your veins. This salt solution makes the lining of the vein fall in on itself. That helps to close the veins off and make their varicose appearance fade over time. This treatment requires multiple injections over a period of several weeks, but the pain factor involves no more than a simple needle prick (like if you were getting a shot).
However, there are some conditions you need to meet before being eligible for sclerotherapy. For starters, women who are pregnant are ineligible in case the injected solution poses a danger to the growing fetus. Those who have experienced problems with blood clots are considered case-by-case for the procedure. You're also forbidden from using certain over-the-counter meds several days prior to the procedure. Making sure your doctor knows any allergies or ill reactions you've had to medications in the past will also prove useful.
In addition, it's important to note that of the treatments mentioned here ensure you will (opens in a new tab). Getting your veins monitored regularly via ultrasound and visiting your doctor for check-ups is a great way to stay ahead of any repeat problems.
A Bright Future Ahead
And there you have it! Now that you know the answers to questions like 'Is vein treatment painful?' and 'What kinds of vein treatments are there?', you're prepared to take the next steps on getting your spider veins removed today! And if you want to meet with some of the top experts in the field so they can cure your condition, be sure to (opens in a new tab) and see where our closest location to you is!