It becomes increasingly simple to deal with medical issues such as varicose veins and thread veins, and techniques are continually being improved. While varicose veins may look like a small problem, they can turn into a bigger issue such as a blood clot or varicose eczema. With modern technologies, there’s no excuse to not get treatment. But just how effective is varicose vein treatment, and can varicose veins come back?
What are Varicose Veins?
You have a system of veins and arteries that spreads through your whole body, carrying oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to and from the heart. The veins in the lower part of your body have to work extra hard, to push the blood against gravity so that it can get back to the heart. For this task, they have small valves inside them that help to push the blood in the right direction.
The problem is that sometimes these valves can get overworked or can fail, and blood can begin to pool in the veins instead of continuing to move. When this occurs, the vein begins to bulge and twist, and may become painful. In addition, the blood can leak into the tissues surrounding the bulging vein, which in some cases will look like bruising, or can turn into a skin rash, ulcers, or deep vein thrombosis. Most people view varicose veins as purely a cosmetic issue, but they can have serious complications and should be attended to.
Treatment Options and Effectiveness
Luckily, there are a number of high-quality varicose vein treatments available these days. There are two main categories of treatment: chemical treatments, and heat-based treatments. Both kinds of methods use different approaches for sealing the leaking varicose vein.
Chemical treatments include foam sclerotherapy and Clarivein, both of which use a chemical that is injected into the vein. Foam sclerotherapy works by using a chemical called Fibrovein, which causes a chemical burn inside the vein to close it off. This is a generally effective treatment, but it can be less effective for larger veins with a 30% recurrence rate within 2 years. It can be a useful technique for tortuous veins that cannot be treated with a laser or heat treatment. Clarivein also uses the Fibrovein chemical, but it also uses a mechanical tool to inject the foam. It is also very effective for smaller veins, but less effective in larger veins.
Heat-based treatments are also common, including endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). This works by making a small incision in the vein, and then closing the leak using the heat from a laser. Another heat-based treatment is radiofrequency ablation, which uses a different heat frequency to close the vein. These are both effective treatments with a success rate of 98% or higher, and have a higher success rate with larger veins than chemical treatments.
In general, all treatments can have a risk of the varicose vein recurring, but this is more likely to happen with larger veins, veins in larger legs, or veins right behind the knee, regardless of which treatment option is taken. All of these treatments have generally easy and smooth recovery processes, as they are all outpatient surgeries that are performed with local anaesthetic and are minimally invasive. This means that only a small incision is made, and most patients are back to normal activities within a few days or weeks (depending on the size of the veins and the number of veins that have been treated).
For the most part, varicose vein treatments are very effective, and are becoming increasingly so. New technologies are continually being developed, including new microwave or ultrasound based treatments. This means that as time goes by, varicose vein treatment will continue to become more effective, helping patients to get quicker and more successful treatment for their veins.