Options for Treating Varicose Veins

Around 40-45% of men and 50-55% of women have a vein issue. In fact, varicose veins affects half of people above the age of 50. Symptoms may include pain after standing or sitting for long periods, swelling or heaviness, cramping or throbbing, irritating or itchy rash, darkening of skin and restless legs.

Compression stockings

Support pantyhose provides the least varicose veins relief as pressure is equally put on the whole leg. Gradient or graduated stockings put pressure where it's most useful. Over-the-counter gradient hose puts higher pressure on veins while prescription gradient hose applies the most pressure. The prescription must be fitted on the patient by a qualified professional. Both compression hoses can be found at drug or medical supply stores.


Smaller veins are normally treated through the injection of an irritant to crumple the vein's wall. This treatment is designed to restrict the flow of blood to the affected veins. The patient has to wear compression stockings for about 3-6 days for small veins and 6 weeks for large veins. There may be side effects like brown stains near the affected area, allergic reaction to irritant, accidental injection of artery, as well as irritation and inflammation of other veins.

Surface laser

This varicose vein treatment is non-invasive and is perfect for veins that are smaller than three millimeters. In general, 2-5 treatments lasting around 15-20 minutes each are required. Strong laser light bursts enter the skin and gradually fade the veins till they go away. The laser's heat can cause serious pain and isn't recommended for all kinds of skin and skin tones. Side effects that may occur include burns and scars, skin discoloration, swelling and temporary redness. Normal activity can be resumed soon after the procedure.


A surgical procedure for surface or saphenous veins is tying off or ligation of the vein and removing or stripping the vein. Phlebectomy is about small incisions and the removal of veins with a special hook. This procedure is done in operating rooms or outpatient centers. The risks of this procedure may include deep vein blood clots, nerve tissue damage, permanent scars and bruising or bleeding.


This treatment is done in doctor's room using local anesthesia. It's also an alternative surgery for most people with deeper surface veins. One small catheter is put inside the vein before a probe is heated with radiofrequency or laser energy to stop the flow of blood. Healthy veins  help with the blood flow in place of sealed ones. One may experience mild bruising after the procedure.