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The goals of varicose vein treatment are to reduce symptoms and prevent complications. For some, the goal may be improved appearance. Home treatment is typically the first approach.
Home treatment may be all you need to ease your symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse. You can:
Wear compression stockings.
Prop up (elevate) your legs.
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing.
Get plenty of exercise.
If home treatment doesn't help, there are procedures that can treat varicose veins. These include:
Laser energy is used to scar and destroy varicose veins. This is called ablation.
Simple laser therapy is done on small veins close to the skin, such as spider veins. The laser is used outside of your skin.
Endovenous laser therapy uses a laser fiber inserted into the vein. Laser ablation inside the vein makes the vein close up.
Ligation and stripping.
Cuts (incisions) are made over the varicose vein, and the vein is tied off (ligated) and removed (stripped).
Several tiny cuts are made in the skin through which the varicose vein is removed. This is also called stab avulsion.
Radiofrequency energy is used inside a vein to scar it and close it off. It can be used to close off a large varicose vein in the leg.
A chemical is injected into a varicose vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein, causing the vein to close. This usually works best for small veins.
All of these procedures can scar or discolor the skin.
Treatment may be needed to remove the damaged veins, treat complications, or correct a problem that is causing the varicose veins. The size of your varicose veins affects your treatment options.
Larger varicose veins are generally treated with ligation and stripping, laser treatment, or radiofrequency treatment. In some cases, a combination of treatments may work best.
Smaller varicose veins and spider veins are usually treated with sclerotherapy or laser therapy on your skin.
Some people may want to improve how their legs look, even though their varicose veins aren't causing other problems. In these cases, a procedure may be a good option, as long as there are no other health problems that make these treatments risky.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.