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More than 25% of the adult population will suffer from problematic vein conditions at some point in their lives. Varicose veins are painful, bulging, and unsightly veins that often appear in the legs, ankles, and feet.

Many genetic, health, and lifestyle conditions produce varicose veins, including weight fluctuations, pregnancy, long periods of sitting or standing, and injury to the legs. They can appear under the skin, look blue or purple, and produce symptoms such as itching, heaviness in the legs, and swelling.

A consultation with an interventional radiology vein specialist will determine the underlying cause of your vein problem and develop an individualized treatment plan for you. Your vein treatment options may include:

Laser ablation or endovenous ablation is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that uses a laser within the underlying diseased vein to treat varicose veins at their source.

Microphlebectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used when varicose veins are so close to the skin that they can be removed directly using tiny nicks for excellent results.

Sclerotherapy performed by injecting a medicine into the vein, causing it to close and the blood to reroute to healthy veins, improving circulation and appearance with no downtime. When treating an abnormal vein below the skin, ultrasound guidance may be used. This allows the veins to be seen on a screen during the procedure.

Conservative treatment with compression stockings and lifestyle modifications.

Vein stripping is an older surgical procedure that has been made obsolete by laser ablation. Vein stripping is no longer done in the United States.

Click here to speak with your vein specialist about which treatment is right for you.

Michael Karnaze
About the Author

Dr. Karnaze has spent the past 25 years perfecting minimally invasive techniques to treat arterial and venous diseases. In addition, he is a renowned expert in newer minimally invasive therapies for cancer patients. He joined Fairfax Radiology in 1988, is certified by the American Board of Radiology and has received subspecialty certification in Vascular and Interventional Radiology.