What Happens to a Varicose Vein After Treatment?

January 28, 2021 The Vein Institute

Varicose veins can seem to appear out of nowhere, bringing symptoms such as itchiness, burning and swelling. While seeking treatment is a great way to alleviate discomfort and remove the unsightly veins themselves, what actually happens to a varicose vein after treatment?

To help explain, we’re going over the vein varicose vein treatment process from how varicose veins develop to recovery.

How varicose veins develop

Veins are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood from around the body, back up to the heart. However, when vein valves, or vein walls, become damaged, blood can start to slip backwards. When blood is not able to flow back up to the heart, it begins to reflux or pool, forming twisted, enlarged vessels you know as varicose veins.

Treatment options for varicose veins

After speaking with your vein specialist and exploring your options, you’ll start a plan to have the varicose veins treated and removed.

In the majority of cases, this involves either endovenous laser ablation (where the vein is sealed with an ultra-fine laser inserted into the vein) or sclerotherapy (where a solution is injected into the vein to close it off). Once this is done, you’ll be given an aftercare guide to ensure the results are long-lasting.

Learn more about the treatment options available at The Vein Institute: Definitive guide to varicose vein treatment.

What happens to a varicose vein after treatment?

When the doctor finishes treating the vein, it’s sealed off from the rest of the circulatory system. Once it’s closed off, your body begins the process of reabsorbing the vein. The body does this by breaking down the proteins and connective tissue that hold the blood vessels together, recycling the tissue into the rest of the body.

Treatment outcomes vary for each and every patient. In short, how quickly the veins disappear depends on age, general health, the severity of the varicose veins themselves and your general activity. For some people, it can take up to 6 months to fully reabsorb.

What’s crucial here is that the aftercare is followed properly. Any strenuous exercise, prolonged standing or heavy lifting in the two weeks following treatment can cause the vein to reopen before the body has a chance to take care of it.

Laser ablation has a 98% success rate, so as long as you follow the aftercare, the vein is highly unlikely to recur.

Am I cured now?

While you can say goodbye to the treated vein, you are still at risk of another vein in that area turning varicose. Hence, monitoring your vein health is crucial.

Once your legs have recovered from the treatment and your blood-flow improved, there are simple things you can do every day to reduce the likelihood and severity of more varicose veins developing. These include;

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Cut down on sugar and trans/saturated fat intake.
  • Eating additional plant-based foods, especially apples, blueberries, leafy greens and other foods high in flavonoids.

In instances where you’d normally be sitting or standing for extended periods of time, make sure you get up and move around every 20-30 minutes, stretching and exercising the legs.

Remember, even though the vein is gone, varicose veins can still develop in other parts of the leg, so treatment helps to alleviate symptoms, but maintaining a healthier lifestyle is your best way to take care of your veins.

Image of legs, the left leg has normal functioning veins, the right has varicose veins which are visible on the skin

Read more: Should people aged 65+ treat their varicose veins?

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

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  13 VEINS. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.