Your varicose veins have become large enough to be noticeable. Your legs are starting to ache because of decreased circulation and the area over the veins often itches. When the non-invasive treatments fail to give you relief, it's time to consider more aggressive approaches. Surgical procedures to remove the veins is the next step. Here are the current approaches to getting rid of those swollen veins in your legs.

Less Invasive Surgical Treatments

These may require a small incision under a local anesthetic and have less risk than the more involved surgical procedure.


A chemical is injected directly into the vein which causes it to shrink and close. This stops the blood from pooling in the vein and the body eventually absorbs the vein tissue. This is normally used on small to medium varicose veins, including spider veins, and is often done for cosmetic reasons.

Endovenous Laser Treatment

A small incision is made in the vein and a laser fiber is inserted into the largest part of the vein. The doctor watches the position of the laser on an ultrasound screen while the laser heats the wall of the vein. This creates scar tissue which closes off the vein and stops the blood flow. The body then absorbs the old vein.

Radiofrequency ablation

This procedure is similar to endovenous laser treatment but uses a catheter through which radiofrequency waves are sent into the wall of the vein. This also creates scar tissue and closes off the vein.


This a more invasive procedure but can still be done in your doctor's office with a local anesthetic. You may be lightly sedated during the procedure. Small incisions are made in the skin above the varicose vein which is then removed in pieces. The incisions are small enough to not require stitches.

Treatment Requiring a Hospital Stay

This treatment normally requires you to have a general anesthetic or a spinal block with sedation. The surgery is more extensive and you'll need at least an overnight stay in the hospital for observation.

Vein stripping

Your doctor will make incisions along the varicose vein from the groin to your ankle. A small plastic wire is then guided down through the entire length of the vein. The vein is secured to the plastic wire which is then pulled out through the incision at your ankle. The vein is pulled out of your leg with the wire. These incisions require stitches and you will wear bandages and compression stockings for several weeks while your leg heals.

For more information about treating varicose veins, contact a company like Premier Surgical Associates.