Alternative Treatments for Varicose Veins

Description of ProcedureTreatment LocationAnesthesia TypeRecovery TimeProsCons
 Laser TreatmentFiber is inserted into vein. Vein is then heated up and closed shut.Office, Out-patient Center or HospitalTumescentAmbulatory immediately; return to most normal activities within 24 hoursQuick procedure, minimally invasive, local anesthetic, great results, less bruising, minimal post- operative discomfort.Minimal risk of DVT, infection and pain.
Ligation & StrippingIncision made at groin and ankle. Vein is then tied off and removed.Out-patient Center or HospitalGeneral (hospital) or Tumescent (in- office/out-patient)2-4 weeksOld technique. Instant results.Invasive. Post- procedure pain, swelling, bruising, scarring. Possible risk of infection and blood clots. Higher risk of future recurrence of varicose veins.
PhlebectomyMultiple tiny incisions are made and vein is then pulled out.Out-patient Center or HospitalGeneral (hospital) or Tumescent (in- office/out-patient)1-2 weeks (until small incisions heal)Instant resultsInvasive. Post- procedure pain, bruising, scarring. Possible risk of infection and DVT.
Compression StockingsForm-fitting stockings are worn to promote healthy venous circulation.HomeNoneNoneEasy to do. Can be done at home.Uncomfortable, hot to wear. Effective Rate is low.
SclerotherapyA sclerosing solution is inserted directly into the vein causing it to close.Office, Out-patient Center or HospitalTopical or None4-16 week resolution timeGood results when performed properly. Best results occur when combined with laser therapy.Takes several weeks to disappear. Possible risk of infection, and pulmonary embolism. Possible allergic reaction to solution, staining and/or ulceration.
Radiofrequency TreatmentCatheter advanced to furthest treatment site. Electrodes deployed, RF energy initiated. Catheter withdrawn, closing vein.Office, Out-patient Center or HospitalGeneral (hospital) or Oral, IV and/or tumescentElevate and ice for 24- 48 hours. Return to normal activities immediately.Minimally invasive. Good results.Size limitations

Learn more about Vein Treatment at The Oregon Clinic