The best way to choose the right treatment plan for varicose veins is through a doctor’s consultation. This is because every individual body is unique, and responds to different treatments in different manners. Treatment plans for spider veins depend on the patient’s outcome goal, the severity of the disease, and the patient’s general health. Doctors may first recommend self-care at home such as the use of compression stockings, regular exercise, dietary changes, and avoiding standing up for long periods of time. If further treatment is required, vein specialists may perform minimally invasive methods such as the following:
- Sclerotherapy: The most frequently used method of treatment of spider veins, sclerotherapy is performed by injecting an agent called a sclerosant into the diseased veins that cause the veins to stick to one another and close up. The veins are then absorbed by the body, clearing the skin.
- VenaSeal: VenaSeal is a minimally invasive medical procedure in which a bio-adhesive is introduced into the diseased veins using a catheter, causing the veins to seal off. The procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Eventually, the veins are reabsorbed by the body.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: In this procedure, a numbing agent is first applied over the area where the veins are. Then, heat is applied using radiofrequency. The heat then stops blood flow in the diseased veins, and over time the veins disappear.
- Endovenous laser treatment: In this laser treatment procedure, heat from a laser is applied to close or shrink the spider veins. Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour and does not require a hospital stay. You will be able to walk out of the hospital within an hour after the procedure is done.
- Varithena: Varithena is a microfoam sclerosant that is injected into diseased veins. This is a non-surgical procedure that takes less than 60 minutes in which the diseased veins are closed down and eventually disappear. The recovery period for this procedure is also very short; the patient will be able to move about freely within an hour of the procedure.
Is varicose vein treatment expensive?
The costs for varicose vein treatment can differ based on the type of treatment procedure, the severity of the varicose veins, and even the state you live in. Generally, sclerotherapy costs around $350 to $500 per session, and you may require multiple sessions depending upon the extent of your varicose veins. You can get a more precise estimate of the number of sessions you would require and the overall cost after your doctor reviews your case in the first consultation.
More advanced procedures cost more, such as Varithena (which costs around $2000 to $3000) and radiofrequency ablation (around $3000 to $5000). Again, a more precise estimate can only be made after an evaluation of the extent of your disease.
Most insurance companies have a policy to only cover medical expenses that are deemed medically necessary. Varicose vein treatments are generally covered by insurance, especially if the varicose veins exist alongside other symptoms such as leg pain, cramping, leg swelling, and worsening vein health. It is best to discuss your insurance plan with the doctor’s office.
If you would like to know more about the best vein treatment options for you, book an appointment with the best vein doctors in California.
How can I manage/treat varicose veins at home?
Varicose veins can be harmless, in which case you may be able to manage it at home. However, if varicose veins are accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling of the leg and/or ankles, pain, and reddened itchy skin, it is best to consult a doctor for treatment. Doctors will recommend certain lifestyle and dietary changes that you can do at home alongside your treatment plan.
Exercise is good for your overall general health, including for varicose veins. Exercising regularly helps get your heart pumping and keep the blood circulating normally. Exercise that strengthens the calf muscles is especially important because the muscles in your calves must work the most against gravity to help the veins push blood back to the heart. This means that walking, in particular, is very good for varicose veins. Doctors will recommend that patients with venous insufficiency walk 30 minutes a day every day if possible, even if it is only to a grocery shop and back.
Obesity is one of the factors that cause varicose veins. If you already have varicose veins, losing weight cannot reverse or cure the damage that is already there in your veins, but it can help slow down the progress of the diseased veins and ease some of the symptoms. Losing extra weight will decrease the pressure on your legs, and make it easier for your leg muscles and veins to pump blood back to the heart. This means that you may feel some relief from symptoms such as leg pain, fatigue, and swelling. But the weight loss must be achieved through healthy means such as proper diet and exercise and be in line with your doctor’s medical advice.
It is also advisable to quit smoking and excessive drinking. Smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol are bad for not only your veins but for your general health and well-being.
Can I walk or exercise after varicose vein treatment?
Yes, you can walk after a varicose vein treatment procedure, irrespective of which procedure you have. Most varicose vein treatment procedures are minimally invasive and can be performed in an outpatient department. The procedures themselves generally take about 30 minutes to 60 minutes and you will be able to walk out of the procedure within half an hour of completing the procedure.
In fact, walking after varicose vein treatment is encouraged by doctors. Regular walking improves blood circulation in the legs, prevents blood clots, and helps speed up the healing process after varicose vein treatment. Doctors recommend that you walk every day after the procedure, increasing distance and speed slowly day by day.
As for exercise, doctors recommend that you stay away from strenuous activities and vigorous exercise for a few weeks or at least until your legs have healed after spider vein treatment. But light exercise and walking are highly recommended.
Our vein clinic in San Diego is currently located near the Torrey Pine beach state park, close to the Westfield UTC Shopping Center. Our experienced Harvard-trained vein doctors can offer the best care possible to help you.