When to treat varicose veins?

What are the treatment options for varicose veins?

Your doctor will usually try methods that don�t involve surgery first to relieve your symptoms. These may include preventive techniques or the use of compression stockings. If your varicose veins do not improve with this conservative treatment, more active or interventional options may be required.

Preventive techniques include lifestyle changes viz. exercise, weight loss, elevating legs, avoiding long periods of standing or sitting, compression stockings (for more severe cases) etc.


Compression stockings squeeze your veins and attempt to stop excess blood from flowing backwards. You may need to wear compression stockings daily, for long periods of time. These are prescribed to patients with varicose veins, who do not show much improvement in symptoms with lifestyle changes. Your surgeon will also prescribe these to you for some time after any surgical intervention for varicose veins.

Since defunct vein valves cannot be repaired, the only alternative is to re-route blood flow through healthy veins. Traditionally, this has been done by surgically removing (stripping) the troublesome vein from your leg. Nowadays, there are several advanced procedures that provide a less invasive alternative to vein stripping by simply closing the problem vein instead. Once the diseased vein is closed, other healthy veins take over and empty blood from your legs and send them back to the heart and lungs for getting cleaned a d recycled into circulation.


Most patients have a combination of varicose veins, reticular veins, and spider veins. Different treatment methods may be best for each type of vein involved, or for different sized veins. Therefore, more than one treatment method will be required for most patients. In general, varicose veins and any associated reflux are treated prior to treatment of spider veins. It is usual practice to tackle the bigger system of varicose veins first and tackle the residual smaller reticular veins or spider veins subsequently if they persist.