The worst part of developing leg veins—pain, swelling and itching symptoms aside—may be losing self-confidence. Genes are the No. 1 reason people get vein issues. Other causes are pregnancy and obesity, says Jana Emmett, PA-C, clinical director of VeinInnovations. Feel good about showing your gams again after one of these effective spider- and varicose-vein treatments. Here’s what they entail:
Large varicose veins
Endovenous ablation can be done with either a laser or a radio-frequency catheter. The latter is preferable because of better results and increased patient comfort. This is widely used to treat large varicose veins. First, you’ll receive a local anesthesia. Then, a catheter is guided by an ultrasound into the affected varicose vein. As the catheter slowly withdraws, it closes the walls of the vein with its heat, which makes the vein disappear.
Phlebectomy and ambulatory phlebectomy are performed through a needle puncture following the administration of a local anesthesia. Large surface veins are removed with a hook directly through the small puncture in the skin. With the local anesthesia used, there is little pain, and legs heal very quickly with minimal scarring.
Sclerotherapy is a type of injection therapy that utilizes a very fine needle and an irritant agent, which closes surface spider veins by its inflammatory response to the lining of the vessel. You’ll feel a sting at the moment of each injection, and you may need two or three sessions separated by 3-4 weeks for the desired cosmetic result.
Both spider and varicose veins
Deep sclerotherapy is similar to sclerotherapy. The only difference is that the needle is sometimes guided by an ultrasound (in order to reach deeper veins), and because this option treats larger spider veins and varicose veins, it sometimes requires a higher concentration and quantity of the injected solution. There is a chance of some lumpiness for a period of 3 to 4 months before the area smoothes out.
What It Will Cost You
Insurance companies are now covering the cost of these treatments in situations where veins are causing severe discomfort, not purely cosmetic cases. Give your insurance company a call to see what your plan covers.
Endovenous ablation: $3,000-$4,000
Sclerotherapy (cosmetic): $75-$500/session
Deep sclerotherapy: $400-$900/session
Phlebectomy and ambulatory phlebectomy: $600-$1,200/leg. Cost varies, depending on the number of veins.