There are several types of treatment for varicose veins. The selected option entirely depends on symptoms and its severity. Treatments include:
- Conservative treatment: In mild cases of varicose veins, wearing compression stockings with pressure gradient all day is often the first approach. It steadily squeezes the legs and helps veins and leg muscles circulate blood more efficiently. The degree of compression can be adjusted.
- Sclerotherapy: During the procedure, small-and medium-sized varicose veins are injected with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins. Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and hospitalization. It can be done as an out-patient procedure without requirement of food and fluid restriction prior to the procedure.
- Catheter–assisted procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy: A thin tube (catheter) will be inserted into an enlarged vein. The tip of the catheter heats with either the use of radiofrequency or laser energy. As the catheter is pulled out, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut. This procedure is the preferred treatment for larger varicose veins. Before performing this procedure, general health assessment is required as well as food and fluid restriction up to 6-8 hours before procedure begins. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes in the minor operating room. Incision size is up to 2 mm. in length. After procedure is completed, elastic bandage will be used to wrap up the affected areas and the compression stockings will be furthered used. Follow-up is needed 1-2 weeks after receiving treatment.
- Endoscopic vein surgery. In an advanced case involving leg ulcers if other techniques fail, surgery might be highly considered. With the requirements of general health assessment and food-fluid restriction 6-8 hours prior to the surgery, the operation takes 1-2 hours. For post-operative care, elastic bandage and compression stockings will be used to support the affected areas. Follow-up is needed 1-2 weeks after surgery.
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