Large, bulging veins found on the legs or groin are called varicose veins. These veins are very common, but they may cause a person to feel self-conscious. They may also be painful or cause blood clots to form. There are several methods for treating varicose veins. A doctor can help determine which treatment is right for you.
In many instances, varicose veins are treated with an outpatient procedure known as sclerotherapy. This treatment involves injecting a chemical directly into the vein. Once inside, the chemical causes the vein to spasm and collapse. Blood can no longer flow through the vein, and the vein will disappear completely within a few months.
Many patients prefer sclerotherapy to treat their varicose veins because the procedure is minimally invasive. It only takes about two hours to complete, and the patient remains awake and alert during the procedure. The treatment is generally safe, and the results are impressive. Sclerotherapy is also used to treat spider veins.
Larger varicose veins may require surgery. This is reserved for major surface veins that are too large to treat with sclerotherapy. Several small incisions are made to reach the vein. The vein is pulled out with special tools and completely removed.
Not every patient is an ideal candidate for surgery, however. Those with certain preexisting conditions or reactions to anesthesia should discuss their medical history with the surgeon beforehand. Nerve damage, blood clots, and infection are all serious complications that may be experienced after surgery.
Some patients prefer to use conservative methods at home to treat their varicose veins. If the veins are located in the legs, try wearing compressing socks. High heels should be avoided. Regular exercise may also improve blood flow and reduce the size of some varicose veins. Losing weight may also be helpful.
While varicose veins are very common, they may become bothersome. Large veins usually require medical intervention to treat, while smaller veins may respond to home treatments. Varicose veins are often genetic and may be unavoidable. Schedule an appointment with a vein health expert to discuss ways to treat your varicose veins.