Varicose veins affect between 15-25% of all adults and approximately 50% of all people over age 50. Women have a higher incidence of varicose veins than men.

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What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are large “rope-like” veins which are often 1/4 inch or larger in diameter. They generally grow in size over time and can result in substantial pain and complications if not treated.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are caused by leaking valves inside the veins. When the valves leak blood pools up in the veins of the legs. Over time this process may distend and distort the veins causing them to bulge and enlarge. The main risk factors for varicose veins are heredity, pregnancy, and occupations that require prolonged standing.

What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

  • Cramping
  • Aching
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Restlessness
  • Soreness
  • Phlebitis
  • Ulceration
  • Bleeding

What Treatment Options are Available for Varicose Veins?

Compressions Stockings

  • Do Not eliminate varicosities
  • Compress varicosities preventing distension which may help with symptoms
  • Usually knee high and medical grade
  • Helps some people
  • Some people cannot tolerate

Endovenous Ablation:

  • Involves thermal energy scarring down a large vein with pathologic reflux (leaking)
  • Elimination of large vein reflux often helps prevent varicosities from distending
  • Involves treating "cause" of varicosities
  • Requires a simple and safe procedure in the office


  • Involves a small incision over individual varicosities with surgical removal
  • Usually multiple sites are treated at one time
  • Involves treating the "effect" of the varicosities
  • Requires a simple and safe procedure in the office

Did You Know?

  • Removal of diseased varicose veins or ablating a refluxing vein is not harmful for the venous system. Venous blood simply reroutes to healthier veins.
  • Varicose veins generally worsen over time without treatment. Compression and anatomic optimization are the mainstays of treatment.
  • Most insurance companies with cover the treatment of symptomatic varicose veins that are refractory to conservative therapy.
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