Varicose veins impact approximately one in every three Australians and the symptoms can range from visually unappealing lumps to extremely uncomfortable aches and pains. Thankfully there is a range of treatment options available! If you have started to investigate you may have read that, even after it has been treated, the disease can return. So, can varicose veins be cured? Or once you have them, are you stuck with them for good?
Learn more about why these veins develop in some people and not others: Varicose vein causes
Can varicose veins be cured?
Technically varicose veins cannot be permanently cured as the condition that causes them – Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) results in permanent damage to the valves which control the flow of blood back to the heart and lungs.
Currently, there is no way to repair the vein using a microscopic scalpel. In the same way, you might fix the faulty valve on a water pump. Additionally, there are no proven natural, or pharmaceutical solutions to reverse the damage caused as the veins which become varicose are permanently damaged.
Some patients find that varicose veins return after they have undergone treatment, generally this isn’t the same varicose vein returning but a new one which has developed.
How do vein doctors treat varicose veins?
A decade ago, the only way to remove varicose veins was a surgical process called vein stripping. And it is as onerous as the name implies. Vein stripping involves the removal of the diseased vein and it results in a couple of days in the hospital, general anesthetic and a long, painful recovery time. These days vein stripping is rarely done.
Doctors at The Vein Institute use gentle, minimally invasive methods where a tiny catheter is inserted into the veins and laser or radiofrequency used to close and collapse the vein.
The process is extremely safe and when a vein is closed the neighbouring veins take over routing deoxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs. The now-closed veins are naturally absorbed by surrounding tissue and will disappear over a period of weeks.
Your overall circulation improves when varicose veins are removed. This is because the one-way blood flow that good health depends on, has been restored.
If you’re looking for non-surgical options to treat the symptoms of varicose veins, there are a variety of options available at The Vein Institute Shop.
How we treat varicose veins at The Vein Institute
First, we perform a full medical examination, using state-of-the-art venous duplex ultrasound. This determines the cause and severity of the varicose veins.
The unpleasant symptoms of small varicose veins can often be managed by making simple lifestyle changes such as frequent exercise, healthy eating and wearing compression stockings to improve circulation. But none of these will provide a permanent solution and therefore none can eliminate the swollen veins.
For a more permanent solution, our doctors will recommend a number of treatment options:
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, where a tiny catheter is inserted into a small varicose or spider vein. The diseased vein is then injected with a sealant that makes the walls stick to each other and collapse. Not sure if you have varicose veins or spider veins? Try our vein self-assessment tool.
- Another technique is called radiofrequency ablation, which uses the heat of radiofrequency waves to close varicose veins.
- Similarly, endovenous laser ablation uses a laser to seal the varicose vein shut
- The Vein Institute was also one of the Australian pioneers of a non-surgical technique called medical superglue. The medical adhesive is safely and effectively used to close varicose veins.
All of the methods cited above are “walk in, walk out” performed in the comfort of our clinic. They take under an hour and require little recovery time.
Learn more: Home remedies for varicose vein symptoms.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work