Is Varicose Vein Treatment Painful?

October 28, 2021 The Vein Institute

It’s not unusual to feel apprehensive or even a little scared of the potential pain caused by a procedure. And varicose vein treatment is no different. But the good news is that thanks to local anaesthetic and modern treatment technology, your varicose vein treatment shouldn’t be painful.

What actually happens during varicose vein treatment?

Dr Zil performing a varicose vein treatment where the patient is smiling and doesn't seem to be in pain

Dr Zil performing a varicose vein treatment

There are several minimally invasive varicose vein treatments, though they are pretty similar. 

You’ll come in, lay on the bed, and your vein specialist will inject a tiny bit of local anaesthetic into the problem area. Rather than numb the whole leg, your doctor will perform tumescent anaesthesia. This process involves injecting small doses of anaesthetic to surround your vein, ensuring that the procedure is as pain-free and comfortable as possible. 

The rest of the procedure is relatively quick. As we mentioned, modern treatments are minimally invasive. For example, in Endovenous Laser Ablation and Medical Superglue, we only need to make a tiny incision to fit a small catheter. And in some superglue and sclerotherapy treatments, we’ll use a syringe.

As we’ll have injected local anaesthetic, the actual vein-sealing process (whether it involves heat energy or vein-agitating sclerosant), will be relatively painless. 

On top of that, you’ll be alert and awake. So if you start feeling discomfort during the procedure, you can let us know, and we’ll take the necessary steps to make you more comfortable. 

So, just how painful is varicose vein treatment?

That’s a bit of a complicated question. Pain is one of the most relative experiences we can have. What feels like a pinprick to one person could be a sharp jolt to another. But, while it’s hard for us to say exactly how it will feel for you, most patients describe the pain level as being around 0-3 out of 10.

In all our years of performing varicose vein treatments, our patients complained most about EVLA. But even then, they mostly noted discomfort instead of pain. 

So, you shouldn’t stress. But if you still feel nervous before or during the procedure, just let us know. 

Is the treatment scary?

Close-up of doctor's hand holding up a syringe of sclerosant for sclerotherapy, a generally not painful varicose vein treatment

Doctor’s hand holding up a syringe of sclerosant

On that note, let’s talk about lasers and needles. We know the prospect of injections and zapping veins shut with laser fibres might sound worrisome. 

But, you and your veins will be perfectly safe. For one, the treatments aren’t dangerous and are considered safer than surgical alternatives. Not to mention, our doctors have been performing them for upwards of 15 years.

So while the fear of needles is hard to overcome, we want to assure you that with your favourite songs playing on the speakers and doctors and nurses talking you through the procedure, it’s quite a comforting environment. 

Will I be in pain after the procedure? 

Man pulling on a compression sock to alleviate discomfort after varicose vein treatment

Man pulling on a black compression sock

You’ll be able to walk out of our clinic with a couple of bandages and a compression sock. Even when the local anaesthetic wears off, you shouldn’t feel too much discomfort. 

That said, varicose vein treatments affect everyone differently, with some having a small chance of causing painful sensations. 

But even if you feel some pain, you can generally resolve it through over-the-counter pain relief. And should you get worried about anything you experience during the recovery process, our doctors will be happy to do a check-up. 

Ready to take the next step?

In short, varicose vein treatments are relatively painless, and your discomfort levels should be minimal during and even after the procedure. 

We hope we’ve made you feel a little more at ease about the whole thing. So, as soon as you’re ready to seek treatment, call us at 1300 535 017 or fill out the form below to book your consultation.