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Ask Dr. Wishnew: If I get my varicose veins treated, can they come back?

Varicose veins are unsightly, so once they are addressed and eradicated, we want them to stay gone!

At The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates, we treat varicose veins with a multi-step approach. It is important to first treat the source of the problematic veins, which is something called the saphenous vein. When this vein becomes leaky, it causes a backup of blood into the tiny blood vessels of the skin and leads to spider veins (the smaller veins that precede varicose veins). If this leaky vein isn’t fixed, the spider veins will worsen due to continued pressure on them. This would be like trying to stop a firehose without shutting off the water first.

So, can varicose veins come back after treatment?

If ultrasound reveals the problem is in the main vein of the leg, we can perform a procedure called Radiofrequency Ablation. This procedure cauterizes the vein with a small catheter so that it closes. Occasionally, the vein can reopen if there is excessive pressure on it, from things like weight gain, lifting too soon or not following restrictions after the procedure. The reopening of the vein can lead to recurrence of symptoms like heaviness and swelling, and can cause varicose veins to worsen.

Once the main vein has been closed securely, we can treat the smaller spider veins with a procedure called sclerotherapy. This involves injecting the tiny veins with a solution that causes them to collapse and close. Generally, once closed, these spider veins stay closed. But new varicose veins can form if the risk factors still exist. These include obesity, pregnancy, radiation to the abdomen and chronic sitting/standing. For this reason, it’s important to do what you can to reduce your risk of developing new varicose veins.

Very occasionally, the solution that is injected can cause a darkening or outline of the vein. To prevent this, we ask that you avoid the sun after your procedure for one to two months, and/or schedule your procedure during the fall or winter months.

Are you ready to say goodbye to your varicose veins? Our interactive Vein Self-Test can help you know if you should seek treatment.


The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates: We are Here for You

At The Vein Center, we are your trusted resource for helping you fully understand your options and, with guidance from Dr. Jenna Wishnew, choose the right treatment for you.

This state-of-the-art facility is dedicated entirely to the diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of venous conditions. An evaluation at The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates is non-invasive and is the best way to know the health of your veins.

Schedule your evaluation at The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates today.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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