Studies show modern procedures for vein treatments are safe and effective
Today there are many types of treatments available for varicose veins. These procedures have been developed and improved over the past several years and offer safe and effective options that can be performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office instead of in a hospital.
The decision on which vein treatment is better for your situation should be made by you and your doctor together. Whatever procedure you choose, though, studies show the outcome will be satisfactory.
A New England Journal of Medicine article reported on a study of 798 varicose vein patients, comparing the use of laser and sclerotherapy treatments versus surgery. The majority of the procedures were conducted on large veins deep in the leg. The study found that sclerotherapy, which involves a medicinal foam that is injected into the vein to cause it to collapse, caused slightly more short-term lumpiness and skin discoloration on the leg than either surgery or laser, but significantly, within six months patients recovered with no ill effects. Endovenous laser treatment resulted in the lowest number of complications of any kind but had significantly higher costs than sclerotherapy.
A second study found similar results. The U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health reviewed 17 studies done by other organizations. “There were no significant differences between the surgery group and the foam or the laser group in measures of generic quality of life,” the NIH reported.
Surgical removal of varicose veins until fairly recently was described as the “gold standard” for vein treatment. This study noted that both laser therapy and radiofrequency ablation, which uses radio waves to cause a vein to collapse, “are as safe and effective as surgery, particularly in the treatment of saphenous veins (the largest vein in the leg).”
The type of varicose vein should govern the choice of treatment, the report said, “with no single treatment universally employed.” Meet with one of our doctors to discuss your options.