Written By: Emma Squillace
You’ve probably seen some impressive photos of before & after pictures for people who have had treatments for spider or varicose veins. Have you ever wondered how long those good results last? Of course we have lots of veins running through our bodies – will those visible veins come right back? The good news is that in many cases, the veins we treat are gone forever. However, there is always potential for visible veins to recur, and we’ll detail some of the factors that can cause this.
The first factor to consider is what vein treatment type you choose. On the most invasive end of the spectrum for varicose vein treatment is surgical ligation and stripping. This vein treatment removes the entire great saphenous vein. This procedure has high success rates with certain types of people, but when done on the wrong people it can have high rates of complications. The reason that vein stripping can be successful is it removes the source of many varicose veins. Overall, vein stripping is reported to have a 60 – 80% success rate. At West Medical we are experts in recommending the right procedure to the right patient, so if we believe another procedure will be more effective for you – we will educate you about that. In general, vein stripping should not be done on elderly or pregnant people. Beyond that, each case is different and we’ll explain whether this option will likely be successful for you, based on our expertise.
A procedure with higher overall success rates is called EVLT which stands for Endovenous Laser Treatment. This popular varicose vein treatment is also sometimes called “laser vein treatment”. This treatment is less invasive than vein stripping, and has around a 90 – 95% success rate 3 years after the procedure. One aspect that may lead to the increased success rate with laser vein treatment is that our technology lets us treat very small veins as well as larger ones.
Another treatment type with good success rates is sclerotherapy. This is often used for spider veins. While sclerotherapy can be a highly successful treatment, it’s important to realize that multiple treatments may be needed. This is something we’d discuss with you at your consultation.
There is no single perfect treatment for varicose and spider veins. This is where your doctor’s expertise and careful diagnostic work is an important factor. Some people have varicose vein treatment without an appropriately detailed examination of the areas to be treated. This often leads to veins being missed during the treatment, which raises the likelihood that your visible veins will return quickly. One important examination tool is ultrasound. There is no way to truly understand the structure of the damaged veins without getting a clear look at them. Our ultrasound machines let us see, in detail, what your underlying veins look like. This is an excellent, non-invasive way for our vein experts to plan the best treatment based on your individual needs.
There are other factors that can affect whether or not you have recurring visible veins. Sometimes these factors are out of your control, like genetics. No matter how many steps someone takes to prevent varicose and spider veins, these are conditions that have strong genetic links. There is always some possibility of visible veins recurring just based on a genetic predisposition. Other factors that can put you at higher risk for more varicose and spider veins are obesity, standing or sitting for long stretches of the day, and pregnancy. Overall, with the right vein treatment and right expert physician, visible veins can be successful treated.
Varicose veins and spider veins can be frustrating and sometimes painful. Many people avoid wearing summer clothing, choosing instead to keep their legs covered. While there is no way to guarantee that you won’t develop visible veins, there are excellent treatment options available today. If you have visible veins and would like to learn about treatment options, please contact us. After a thorough exam, we can educate you on the different vein treatments and help you understand where your best chance of the highest success rate is. Our vein team is happy to speak with you, and can be reached at (855) 690-0565.