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Treatment of Varicose Veins of the Leg

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Treatment of Varicose Veins of the Leg


Varicose vein treatment involves taking out or causing damage to varicose veins just under the skin.

Different procedures may involve:

  • Sclerotherapy—injects the varicose veins with a chemical to shrink them
  • Radiofrequency ablation—collapses and seals varicose veins using radiofrequency energy
  • Adhesive sealing—seals the affected veins that are close to the skin
  • Vein stripping—surgery to take out the affected vein
  • Phlebectomy—small incisions and a needle or small scalpel are used to remove the affected vein
Varicose Veins.

Nucleus imageshttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=77237723si55551332.jpgsi55551332.jpgNULLjpgsi55551332.jpgNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si55551332.jpgNULL31NULL2008-12-10238202Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Procedure

The procedures may be done to treat or prevent problems from various veins, such as:

  • Burning, aching, or throbbing
  • Blood clots in the legs
  • Discolored skin and ulcers
  • Not liking the way the veins look

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Return of varicose veins
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin color at the surgical site
  • Deep vein thrombosis

Smoking may increase the risk of having these problems.

What to Expect

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Fever or chills
  • Excess bleeding, redness, swelling, or discharge from the incisions
  • Pain that you cannot control with the medicine
  • Problems passing urine (pee)
  • Coughing, breathing problems, or chest pain
  • Leg swelling

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

Prior to Procedure

The doctor may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the procedure
  • Fasting before the procedure, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Whether you need a ride to and from the procedure
  • Tests that will need to be done before the procedure




  • Varicose veins. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/varicose-veins. Accessed September 9, 2021.
  • Varicose veins. Society for Vascular surgery website. Available at: https://vascular.org/patient-resources/vascular-conditions/varicose-veins. Accessed September 9, 2021.
  • Varicose veins and spider veins. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/varicose-veins-and-spider-veins. Accessed September 9, 2021.
  • Zolotukhin IA, Seliverstov EI, et al. Short-term results of isolated phlebectomy with preservation of incompetent great saphenous vein (ASVAL procedure) in primary varicose veins disease. Phlebology. 2017;32(9):601-607.


  • Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.