Varicose Veins Treatment

Veins are blood vessels, with one-way valves, that help keep blood flowing toward your heart. If the valves are weak or damaged, blood can back up and pool in your veins. This causes the veins to swell, which can lead to varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. Any vein may exhibit varicosity, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet.

For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For others, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. They often cause few signs and symptoms. If varicose veins cause few symptoms, your doctor may simply suggest making lifestyle changes (avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, wear compression stockings, etc.). If your symptoms are more severe, your doctor may recommend removal or closure of the varicose veins.

Do you have a question? Request more information and we will connect you with an RWJBarnabas Health cardiovascular expert.

Types of Varicose Veins Treatment

  • Sclerotherapy: In this procedure, your doctor injects small- and medium-sized varicose veins with a solution or foam that scars and closes those veins. In a few weeks, treated varicose veins should fade.
  • Laser Treatment: In this procedure, a laser sends strong bursts of light onto the vein, making the vein slowly fade and disappear.
  • Catheter-Assisted Procedures: In this procedure, your doctor will insert a catheter into an enlarged vein and heat the tip of the catheter using radio frequency or laser energy. This procedure is also known as an ablation. As the catheter is pulled out, the heat destroys the vein by causing it to collapse and seal shut.
  • High Ligation and Vein Stripping: This procedure involves “ligation” or tying off a vein to a deep vein prior to removal. Afterwards the vein is “stripped” or removed through small incisions.
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy: The most commonly performed procedure. In this procedure, your doctor removes smaller varicose veins through a series of tiny skin punctures.

How to Prepare for the Procedure

Before the procedure, your doctor will explain to you what to expect before, during and after the procedure and potential risks of the procedure. Talk to your doctor about:

  • All medications, herbal products and dietary supplements you are currently taking and ask for their recommendations about each.
  • Any allergies to medicines, latex, tape, iodine, and anesthetic agents.
  • Any history of bleeding disorders.

Other recommendations include:

  • Leave all jewelry at home.
  • Remove all makeup and nail polish.
  • Wear comfortable clothing when you come to the hospital.

What to Expect Before the Procedure

Before the procedure, your doctor may perform a variety of diagnostic tests, these may include:

What to Expect During these Procedures

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Ambulatory phlembectomy is one of the most commonly performed types of varicose vein treatment. This non-invasive procedure (no incisions required / small puncture / low to moderate sedation) is usually performed in an outpatient setting (e.g. doctor’s office). Depending on the number of varicose veins that need to be treated, this procedure may take between 1 to 2 hours. Check with your doctor about the details of your procedure. In general:

  • You will change into a hospital gown.
  • Your doctor will identify which varicose veins need to be operated and proceed to trace them with a marking pen or surgical marker.
  • Once identified, a local anesthetic will be given to the incision site. Incisions are made vertically along the damaged vein.
  • The varicose vein is then dissected through the incisions using a phlebectomy hook. This device is a 2-in-1 device with a hook on one end and blade on the other.
  • After the procedure, your doctor will clean the leg and may apply compression if discharge from the incisions continues.

What to Expect After These Procedures

After the procedure, you’ll be able to go home the same day. Other recommendations include:

General Guidelines

  • Immediately after the procedure, your leg will be washed and dressed with a three-layer dressing. The dressing should be left on for 24 hours following the procedure.
  • Wear compression stockings for at least three days; remove only when showering and sleeping.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
  • Your doctor will give you instructions to follow during your recovery.

Do you have a question? Request more information and we will connect you with an RWJBarnabas Health cardiovascular expert.

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900

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