Treatment Options

Our vascular specialists provide safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins and spider veins. For many individuals, procedures to correct varicose veins are necessary to decrease or eliminate discomfort, aches, and pains. For others, treating varicose and spider veins is important for cosmetic reasons, to feel better about one’s appearance.

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, treatment for varicose veins involves both surgical and nonsurgical approaches. 

Nonsurgical Methods

Ablation 
Involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a varicose vein. The tip of the catheter heats the walls of the varicose vein and destroys the vein tissue. Once destroyed, the vein is no longer able to carry blood and is absorbed by your body.
Compression Stockings 
These elastic stockings squeeze or compress the veins and prevent blood from flowing backward. Compression stockings may help with healing of skin sores and prevention of additional sores. They are effective in treating varicose veins if worn daily and may prevent the need for more invasive treatment.
Elevation of the Legs 
You may be instructed to elevate your feet above your heart three or four times a day for about 15 minutes at a time. If you need to sit or stand for a long period of time, flexing (bending) your legs occasionally can help keep blood circulating. If you have mild to moderate varicose veins, elevating your legs can help reduce leg swelling and relieve other symptoms.
Laser Treatment 
Laser treatment is an option for varicose veins. Until recently, laser treatment was mainly used to treat spider veins on the face. However, newer laser technology can now effectively treat varicose veins as well.
There are several types of lasers that may be used to treat varicose veins. The physician inserts a tiny fiber into a varicose vein through a catheter. The fiber sends out laser energy that destroys the diseased portion of your varicose vein. The vein closes and your body eventually absorbs it.
Sclerotherapy 
Is the most common treatment for both spider and varicose veins. This procedure involves injecting a saline or chemical solution into the varicose veins, causing them to harden so that they no longer fill with blood. Blood that would normally return to the heart through these veins returns to the heart by way of other veins. The veins that received the injection will eventually shrivel and disappear. The body absorbs the scar tissue.

Surgical Methods

Small Incision Avulsion 
This procedure involves passing hooks through small incisions, and may be done alone or together with vein stripping.
Transilluminated-Powered Phlebectomy 
This vein removal procedure makes use of a bright light to illuminate the vein. A device is passed through a tiny incision and removes the vein with suction.
Vein Stripping 
This procedure involves tying off all varicose veins associated with the leg's main superficial vein and removing it from the leg. Removing veins from the leg will not affect blood circulation in the leg as deeper veins take care of the increased blood circulation.