Can varicose veins be removed?
There are various methods for removing varicose veins. Which treatment method is best suited to the individual depends, among other things, on the type of varicose veins and the stage of the disease. Varicose veins are often harmless. Therefore, it is not always necessary to have the varicose veins removed. The decision for or against a surgical varicose vein treatment depends above all on possible concomitant diseases and the personal level of suffering.
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To remove varicose veins, a medical intervention is necessary. This is necessary if the affected veins are severely sagging due to congestion and no longer function properly. The doctor will first examine the veins by ultrasound examination or vascular X-ray (angiography) and then decide which procedure is most suitable for removing the varicose veinsin each individual case.
Sclerosing varicose veins (sclerotherapy)
In varicose vein sclerotherapy, medically called sclerotherapy, an artificial inflammation of the vein walls is induced. The doctor injects a sclerosing agent, for example polidocanol, into the vein network. This causes the vein walls to stick together and scar over. Depending on the size and expansion of the vessels, the sclerosing agent is administered as a liquid or foam. Patients then usually wear compression stockings for a few days.
Several sessions are usually necessary to successfully sclerose varicose veins. Because the tendency to varicose veins is inherited, varicose veins often reappear a few years later. The treatment is then repeated if necessary.
Varicose veins laser
Removal of varicose veins by laser is particularly suitable for straight, not so pronounced varicose veins. Patients usually wear compression stockings for about four weeks after laser removal to keep the risk of swelling and blood clots low.
Removing varicose veins with varicose vein surgery
Varicose vein surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that usually leaves very little scarring. There are several methods doctors use to operate on varicose veins: For example, one has the varicose veins “pulled”, i.e. partially or completely removed (stripping/partial stripping).
Varicose veins can also be removed using the CHIVA method and external valvuloplasty (EVP). The physician will explain the most suitable method and the respective surgical risks. Depending on the severity of the disease and concomitant diseases, varicose vein surgery is performed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure.
In “varicose vein pulling,” the doctor advances a small probe into the affected vein and punctures the vein wall again at the end of the varicose vein. The vessel is then severed and pulled out. While only the diseased sections of the vessel are pulled out during partial stripping, complete varicose veins can be removed by stripping. Patients then wear compression stockings for about four weeks to prevent the legs from swelling or forming blood clots.
Removing varicose veins: CHIVA method
Patients then wear compression stockings for four to five weeks to accelerate regression. This method is not recommended for very pronounced varicose veins.
Removing varicose veins: External Valvuloplasty (EVP)
External valvuloplasty (EVP) restores the function of the venous valves. In this procedure, the doctor narrows the large vein in the groin (great saphenous vein) by making a small incision in the skin under local anesthesia and sewing a small polyester sleeve around the large vein. This reduces the circumference of the vein. The reduced volume of the vein indirectly makes the venous valves work again.
The procedure is suitable for very mild varicose veins and offers the advantage that the diseased vein is preserved.
Remove varicose veins in the testicles
Healing time after varicose vein surgery
After varicose vein surgery, many patients wonder what the best course of action is and how long they should ideally take it easy. Following varicose vein surgery, doctors recommend getting up and walking around as soon as possible. The movement sets the muscle pump in motion and thus supports the removal of the blood – which promotes healing.
Exercise in moderation is good in the first days after varicose vein surgery. From about the second week, light sporting activities such as hiking, walking or cycling tours are permitted. After three weeks, it is possible to increase the intensity of movement and, for example, to jog or play tennis. Four weeks after the operation, in most cases there are no longer any restrictions with regard to sports.
Removing varicose veins: costs
The cost of varicose vein surgery varies according to the treatment method and severity of the condition. In the case of spider vein surgery, it is usually a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by health insurance. In the case of varicose veins, on the other hand, the statutory and private health insurance companies usually cover the costs.
Varicose veins treatment without surgery
Whether varicose vein surgery or another invasive procedure is necessary varies from case to case. There are also non-invasive measures that cannot remove varicose veins, but can alleviate their symptoms. These include physical therapy methods, compression therapy and medication.
Information about other therapy methods can be found in the main text varicose veins.
Removing varicose veins: side effects and consequences
Many patients also experience pain in the first days after varicose vein surgery and are given painkillers.
Since small side branch veins are also torn off when the varicose vein is pulled, there is often bruising, hardening and bruising along the vein. However, they usually subside within a few weeks.
Occasionally, minor skin nerves are injured during varicose vein pulling. In some cases, this nerve damage impairs sensitivity in the affected region.