Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What is the best treatment for varicose veins?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is the best treatment for varicose veins?


I've heard so many contradictory things about varicose veins that I have no idea where to start. What is the best treatment for getting rid of varicose veins, safely, cheaply, and permanently? If I have varicose veins, does that mean I made poor lifestyle choices>


Varicose veins, although not life threatening, can be a very annoying problem to have. Briefly, varicose veins are essentially stretched out veins that occur from many years of holding blood. Often the valves within the veins fail, causing higher pressure within the veins making them visibly bulge out. The most common complication is superficial ulcer formation. Treatment strategies vary depending on their severity and the patient's desire to get rid of them. Conservative treatments include avoiding activities that require standing, to the use of compression stockings. Compression stockings (also known as TED hose) can prevent the back flow of blood and reduce the risk of developing ulcers if worn consistently. More aggressive treatments include surgical stripping, sclerotherapy, and radio frequency ablation. Stripping is what it sounds like, the veins are removed. Sclerotherapy and radio frequency ablation are a little less invasive. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of agents which cause the veins to shrivel. Radio frequency ablation thermally removes the veins. I suggest you present you issue to your primary care physician. He or she can examine your legs, determine if there are any ulcers or lesions that need treated, determine their severity, and recommend more aggressive vs. conservative treatment. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.