Varicose Vein Treatment
Feel confident in your skin
Advanced Care for Varicose Veins
Varicose (spider) veins affect one out of every two people aged 50 and older. Experts estimate that 20–25% of women and 10-15% of men will have varicose veins in their lifetime.
While varicose veins are a common health condition, we understand how they can impact your self-esteem. We are here to help.
At the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Vein Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth, you will find a range of treatment options your condition. We treat many people without surgery. If surgery is needed, our minimally invasive techniques can return you to your usual activities faster with less scarring.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are unusually swollen due to a problem with the valves in the vein. Spider veins may appear bluish in color and stick out above the surface of the skin. They often have a winding or worm-like appearance. Varicose veins typically take years to develop. The condition often runs in families, and women are four times more likely to develop varicose veins than men.
Varicose veins can be caused by:
- Pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills
- Regularly standing on your feet for extended periods of time
- Undergoing hormone replacement therapy
Personalized Approach for the Best Possible Results
Depending on your situation, your doctor may need to treat only the visible varicose veins. In other cases, your doctor also may need to treat the deeper veins that you cannot see on your skin. Your personalized treatment plan may involve surgical removal of the visible varicose veins (micro-incision phlebectomy) or the injection of chemicals (sclerosants) into the vein (sclerotherapy).The Vein Center is one of the few locations that offers both endovenous radiofrequency ablation (VNUS Closure) and laser procedures. With both options available, your treatment will be customized to meet your unique needs.
Minimally Invasive Vein Treatments
At BID Plymouth, you will find several advanced surgical procedures, including:
VNUS Closure Procedure
During this procedure, your doctor places a catheter (a long, thin tube) into your vein and uses the heat from radiofrequency (RF) energy to seal the vein and eliminate the varicose condition.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
If you qualify, EVLT is a safe, effective non-surgical laser procedure that uses lasers to close the veins at the source. EVLT is quick, painless and minimally invasive to help you look and feel better fast. The treatment takes about 45 minutes and provides immediate relief of your symptoms.
Be sure to bring your compression stocking to this procedure to allow for proper healing. After the treatment, you can return to your normal activities right away.
Microphlebectomy is the removal of varicose veins through incisions (cuts) as small as the tip of a needle. Your doctor may perform this procedure by itself or together with an endovenous procedure. You should be able to walk and return to your normal activities right after the procedure. For most people, the incisions are barely visible several months later.
During this treatment, your doctor injects chemicals into your veins, to help the varicose veins disappear. Many people who select this treatment option notice that their legs feel better after this treatment.
Types of sclerotherapy include:
- Foam sclerotherapy
- Visual sclerotherapy
- Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
Frequently Asked Questions
The Vein Center’s treatment team is led by Scott James MD, a board-certified vascular surgeon. Learn more about varicose veins and treatment options.
Varicose veins can be successfully treated, but the condition cannot be completely reversed. You may still have the risk factors for developing them in the future. That is why you may need to return for multiple treatments for your varicose veins.
Most studies have shown that sclerotherapy is far superior to surface laser treatment for spider veins. Before undergoing any laser treatment, make sure you undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a specialist.
Most patients do not experience any complications from sclerotherapy. However, there are some uncommon side effects that can occur, including:
- Allergic reaction to the injected medication
- Changes in skin color at the injection site
- Chemical burns at the injection site
- Deep vein blood clots and unintentional arterial injection (rare)
For your results to last over time, we may need to treat veins not visible to the naked eye. Some insurance carriers will not pay for treatment of branch varicosities if an abnormal main trunk is not treated at the same time or before the branches are treated.
A properly fitted gradient compression stocking can temporarily reverse the effects of vein disease. It also can lessen discomfort and skin damage. Many insurance companies require a trial of stocking use before approving definitive therapy.
Most insurance covers the cost of vein procedures, though prior approval may be required. Speak with your insurance company well before your procedure so you understand what treatments they will cover and what your payment responsibility will be.
Neither foam sclerotherapy nor conventional sclerotherapy are covered by insurance. Your primary care doctor will still provide a referral for a consultation if you are experiencing leg discomfort or pain.
Specialties & Services
To improve your health and quality of life, providers across our network can help you with: