Varicose veins


The diagnosis of varicose veins typically involves a physical examination, as the veins are visible and located near the skin’s surface. During the examination, a doctor can assess the veins by feeling them while the patient is sitting or standing. The doctor may also check for swelling and inquire about any associated symptoms to confirm the diagnosis.

Imaging test: Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that employs sound waves to examine blood flow through vein valves. The procedure is done by moving a small hand-held device, called transducer, roughly the size of a bar of soap across the skin over the body area being evaluated. The transducer sends images of the legs’ veins to a monitor, which displays the results. This test can detect blood clots as well as how well the valves are performing. This is known to be an effective way of diagnosing varicose veins.


Although there is no cure for varicose veins, several treatments are available help to lessen their appearance and alleviate discomfort. Common treatments include self-care techniques, compression stockings, surgery, and other special procedures. Surgical treatment for varicose veins is frequently performed as an outpatient surgery, which means patients usually go home the same day.

  • Self-care: Self-care measures such as exercise, elevating the legs while sitting or lying down, and using compression stockings can help relieve varicose vein pain and possibly prevent from worsening. It is beneficial to raise the legs above the waist multiple times during the day to promote blood flow and lower vein pressure.
  • Compression stockings: These stockings or socks compress the veins and relieve pain. The pressure prevents veins from stretching and improves blood flow. The amount of compression differs based on the type and brand. If varicose veins are causing symptoms, prescription-strength stockings may be prescribed. Wearing compression stockings all day is a common first step in managing varicose veins.
  • Surgeries or other procedures: Surgery and other treatment procedures are often recommended if self-care and compression stockings are ineffective in managing the symptoms. These treatments are also possible for those who want to have their varicose veins removed for cosmetic reasons.
    • Sclerotherapy. This procedure uses a solution that induces the vein walls to bind to one another. The solution or foam is injected into the varicose veins. In some cases, the same vein will need to be injected more than once. The vein eventually transforms into scar tissue. The repaired varicose veins should diminish in a few weeks.
    • Laser treatment: In this treatment, no cuts or needles are necessary. The laser procedure delivers powerful pulses of light to the vein, causing it to diminish and disappear over time.
    • Ambulatory phlebectomy: This treatment usually incurs minimal scarring. It is an outpatient surgery where only the punctured areas of the leg are numbed. In this procedure, smaller varicose veins are removed through a series of micro skin punctures.
    • Catheter-based procedures using radiofrequency or laser energy: It is a minimally invasive treatment generally recommended for larger varicose veins. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into an enlarged vein and uses radiofrequency or laser radiation to heat the catheter’s tip. The heat causes the vein to compress, and seal shut. Closing varicose veins helps healthy veins to reopen and resume normal blood flow.
    • High ligation and vein stripping: This is a surgical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins in the legs. This involves tying up the problem vein (ligation) to prevent blood from pooling. To prevent varicose veins from reappearing, the surgeon may remove (strip) the vein. The healthy veins take over after varicose vein stripping and ligation to help restore normal blood flow.