How Is Your Health?

Vein Treatment Does Not Have To Mean Surgery

by Camila Davidson

If you have varicose veins or spider veins that have been bothering you, then you might be putting off treatment because you've made the assumption that treatment means surgery. Maybe you had a friend or relative who had vein stripping or ligation in the past; it makes sense that you would assume you need the same treatment. But here's the thing: vein treatment has changed a lot in recent years. Surgery may have been your parents' only choice, but it's not yours. In most cases, a vein treatment center can perform one of these non-surgical procedures instead.


Sclerotherapy is a very common option for varicose veins and sometimes also for spider veins. Your doctor will inject a special solution into each vein to be treated. This may sting a little, but it won't be overly painful. If a larger vein or deeper vein is being treated, your doctor may numb the area first to make you more comfortable. The solution will basically stop blood flow through the vein, which will soon cause the vein to die. Then, over the coming weeks, your body will absorb the dead tissue.

Typically, you will need to go back to the vein treatment center for a second appointment about a month after your first appointment. At this appointment, your doctor can re-inject any vein that survived the first treatment session.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment works better for spider veins than for varicose veins, but your doctor may use it for smaller varicose veins that are close to the surface. The laser is powerful enough to kill some of the vein tissue and seal off the vein. Usually, incisions are not needed, although your doctor may need to make a small incision to reach deeper veins. The incision will be tiny, and the area will be numbed so you don't feel a thing. No anesthesia is needed, and the risk of infection is very low since the incisions are small and superficial.


The final option is for your doctor to use radiofrequency to blast away the unwanted veins. These radio waves will cause the vein to vibrate to the point that the cells within them die off. As with the other methods, the veins will then slowly be reabsorbed into the body. Radiotherapy can cause some soreness and bruising afterwards, but these effects dissipate within a few days.

Talk to your doctor about these non-surgical vein treatment options. Relief no longer means having to go under the knife.