No, varicose veins are chronic and do not regress to normal veins.
Sclerotherapy or sclerosing therapy
Sclerotherapy or sclerosing therapy is based on the planned intravenous insertion of a sclerosing agent. This causes a targeted dissolution of the vein wall and, thus, the entire varicose vein, which is transformed into a connective tissue strand. Sclerotherapy with liquid sclerosant can be used for all types of varicose veins, but it is often used for spider and small varicose veins. Again, anesthesia is not necessary, and patients can usually return to their normal daily activities immediately.
Vein stripping is the only surgical treatment and the most commonly used method in Germany to remove varicose veins in the truncal veins. In vein stripping, the surgeon removes the varicose vein with a probe that he inserts into the dilated truncal vein and withdraws. In today’s standard stage-specific stripping procedure, only the sections of the truncal vein that are pathologically dilated are pulled.
Advantages: A proven and frequently performed treatment method for decades, its effectiveness and safety have been proven in numerous scientific studies.
Since all forms of varicose veins except tiny ones can be surgically removed, usually only one treatment appointment is necessary. The varicose vein is eliminated immediately after the procedure; with the modern therapies described previously, such as vein glue or radiofrequency therapy, it may take several weeks for the enlarged vein to close entirely. All health insurance companies cover the cost of the operation. In laser or radiofrequency therapy, this is not always the case.
Disadvantages: Pain, swelling, and bruising are comparatively common after the procedure. The risk of nerve injury is higher with stripping than with other methods. The operation is usually performed under partial or sometimes general anesthesia. This carries certain risks and can be an additional burden for patients. After undergoing vein stripping, patients are typically issued sick leave for one week, occasionally longer. The incisions leave scars that can be cosmetically disruptive. If patients take anticoagulant medications, these blood thinners must be discontinued before surgery.
Complications can occur: Small side branch veins inevitably tear off when pulling the varicose vein. Therefore, bruising may occur along the removed vein. As a rule, these hematomas regress on their own after a few weeks.
In the first few days after the procedure, most patients experience pain and are prescribed a painkiller. Even the most minor lymphatic channels are inevitably damaged during stripping. This results in lymphatic obstruction, leading to leg swelling, typically only temporary. The formation of a blood clot in the leg’s deep veins is a rare but dangerous complication.
Conclusion: Surgery, yes or no? You can only answer this question in consultation with your specialist doctor – after carefully weighing the pros and cons of various treatment methods and considering your situation. You know:
– Varicose veins are chronic and do not regress to normal veins. Therefore, a confirmed diagnosis with the appropriate modern treatment is more than necessary.
– If left untreated, varicose veins can worsen and lead to open ulcers on the leg or, in rare cases, even life-threatening pulmonary embolisms. In principle, any type of varicose veins should be treated quickly to avoid chronic and irreversible damage and long-term consequences.
– The conservative method or self-treatment of varicose veins is insufficient and would always result in follow-up treatment.
– All modern treatment methods, such as vein glue, radiofrequency therapy, foam sclerotherapy, laser treatment, or sclerotherapy, are tissue-friendly and do not require anesthesia or surgery.
– Only vein stripping requires anesthesia in rare cases or at the patient’s request. There are pros & cons to the surgical removal of varicose veins.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the treatment of varicose veins
Compression therapy through stockings, Kneipp applications, or taking medication are initial measures, but further professional and modern treatments should be considered to eliminate any risks.
It depends on the diagnosis. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate treatment for your problem. One thing only: Pulling with anesthesia and surgery is time-consuming, while laser treatment with local anesthesia is brief.
One of the modern treatment methods for venous disorders includes techniques such as vein glue, radiofrequency therapy, foam sclerotherapy, laser treatment, and sclerotherapy/injection therapy.
Self-treatment is not recommended, as chronic varicose veins are associated with some risks.