If you have varicose veins and are looking to get them treated you may be looking at all the options and trying to decide which treatment to go for. But how do you determine which varicose vein treatment is right? Short of studying medicine and specialising in veins, chances are you’re not going to know everything you need to make the decision. To make the most informed choice, a vein specialist will conduct a venous ultrasound and determine the best course of treatment.
To help make the process a little less daunting below is an outline of each treatment option – the pros and cons, as well as some tips on how to get the most out of your varicose vein treatment.
Varicose vein treatment types:
Sclerotherapy for varicose veins
This is the oldest and most widely used method of treating smaller varicose veins. Sclerotherapy is performed by injecting a sclerosing agent into the problem vein, it causes it to scar and seal closed.
- Pros: Simple, well-known and convenient.
- Cons: It has a lower success rate when used alone and varicose veins are more likely to recur in the following years. It’s also a poor treatment option for large veins.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Known as EVLA, this procedure involves inserting a fine catheter into the vein that has a laser on the end to slowly and precisely seal the vein off with heat.
- Pros: State of the art procedure with an extremely high success rate. Laser treatment also has a very low recurrence rate and is relatively pain-free.
- Cons: Some mild bruising and aches in the first-week post-treatment and a tiny risk of numbness below the knee.
Learn more: 10 facts about EVLA
This process uses medical superglue inserted into the veins in a similar process to sclerotherapy to close off the faulty vein. With a similar success rate to laser treatment, VenaSeal is an effective treatment option for an average varicose vein.
- Pros: Excellent for treating average-sized veins. It’s also quick and efficient.
- Cons: Rare risk of allergic skin reaction and it is not suitable for very large veins.
Surgical stripping is a less common procedure these days, due to the prevalence of laser therapy. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and involves surgical removal of the problem vein.
- Pros: Effective in treating the much larger, serious veins.
- Cons: Post-treatment pain with a long recovery period, there are also risks with going under general anesthesia and a higher recurrence rate of new varicose veins.
Self-care isn’t actual treatment of the vein, just effective management of the symptoms. Normally involves compression stockings, improvements to diet and exercise.
- Pros: Can be done at home by anyone and is helpful for minor cases.
- Cons: Not actually treating the vein or core issue, self-care is only useful in managing symptoms.
Learn more: Do natural remedies work for varicose veins?
Which varicose vein treatment is right for me?
The best treatment for each person varies on a wide range of issues including patient general health, condition and severity of the veins as well as the patient’s medical history. Ultimately, the most qualified person to confirm the best treatment for you is a vein specialist.
By consulting with a qualified and experienced professional, they can outline the benefits and risks particular to you and help you make the most informed decision. If you’re not sure how to find a good specialist or you’re concerned at all, just follow the tips below.
Tips on selecting the right treatment
Choosing the right treatment isn’t just about which procedure to go for, where you have it done and who does it should also be a consideration. To make sure you’ve got the best treatment for your veins, here are a few tips on what to look for.
- Reputation: Is the clinic well-reviewed? When previous patients have been happy and satisfied, it’s a great sign.
- Case Load: Do the doctors performs these procedures on a daily basis?
- Credentials: Are the doctors who perform the treatment well qualified?
- Environment: Is the clinic clean and comfortable? Friendly staff and a clean, comfortable clinic make a huge difference to the overall experience of the treatment.
- Second opinion: Are you unsure if what the clinic told you was reliable? Speaking to another clinic or doing some more research at home to confirm the details you received is a helpful way of being sure.
Read more: 5 Mistakes to avoid when treating your 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 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 1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.