The type of treatment you require will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of the disease. Some options are:
- Compression stockings-conservative
- Sclerotherapy/Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy-safe and less invasive
- Laser therapies-(EVLT and radiofrequency)
- Stripping/ligation-surgical option
At the Willow Vein Clinic, we perform both types of sclerotherapy and encourage use of compression stockings. Your treatment plan will be determined at your first visit.
Sclerotherapy uses needles for multiple injections of a solution that irritates the lining of the vein causing it to swell and collapse and eventually be reabsorbed by the body. The blood is re-routed into other healthy veins. This technique is used for the veins that are readily visible on the surface of the skin.
This type of sclerotherapy uses ultrasound imaging to guide the needle to safely inject a foam solution into the varicose vein. This type of procedure is required for those veins that are not readily seen on the surface of the skin.
Wearing compression socks is a conservative treatment for varicose veins. Sometimes this is a good option if you don't have any symptoms or you choose not to do sclerotherapy. Compression socks are mandatory during the sclerotherapy treatment of large and medium veins and should also be worn once treatment is completed to prevent further problems and assist with effective blood circulation. Some compression socks are covered by third party insurance and are available in the pharmacies.
- Bruising-lasts 2-3 weeks depending on how well you heal
- Inflammation-(phlebitis)-red and tender lump along the vein (temporary)-resolves with ice, stockings and advil
- Hyperpigmentation- the inflamed vein causes a reaction on the surface of the skin that looks like a brownish bruise. It is temporary and most resolve within a year
- Small veins more visible-when a vein closes quickly, the blood can be diverted to smaller non-functioning veins which make them more visible
- Migraine headache/blurry vision-can happen in people predisposed to migraines. It is transient and usually resolves within 1-2 hours
- Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe and usually happen within 1-2 hours after treatment.
Serious medical emergencies but extremely rare
There are many factors involved in treatment success so we can never guarantee that the result will be permanent. With varicose vein treatments, the desired outcome is that the vein is reabsorbed by the body. A second treatment may be necessary 6+ months later if the vein is particularly large or located at the back of the knee. As well, new veins will also become varicose over time. Treating varicose veins is an ongoing process. It is important to have regular check-ups and practice healthy vein care