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Less Invasive Treatments for Varicose Veins



A recent study has shown that newer methods in treating varicose veins may be as effective as surgery in preventing varicose veins from returning.  In many cases these treatments are less invasive and more cost effective.  


Varicose veins are caused when the valves in veins that prevent blood from flowing backward (also known as retrograde) no longer close properly, which cause the veins to grow in size. They are characterized by bulging veins in the legs, spider veins, and leg pain, especially at night or after standing for a long period of time.  They are also characterized by ankle swelling, and in rare cases, skin ulcers can form around the veins.   


Varicose veins are a common problem that often affect people over 50, pregnant women, and those who are obese.  Varied methods of treatment have been available for years, including surgical procedures, and less invasive laser or foam treatments.   


New research published last month in the journal Archives of Dermatology showed that non-invasive treatments such as Endovenous Laser Treatment or Sclerotherapy (which involves injections of a “foam” solution such as saline) not only fix problem veins just as well as surgery, but are quicker and generally less expensive.   These procedures leave the veins in place, but shut them down from the inside, most commonly with the heat of a laser inserted by a catheter.    


[image by Timothy J]

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