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How often to varicose veins reoccur?

This question was asked in Irvine, California and has 10 answer(s) as of 04/30/2013.
How often to varicose veins reoccur?


Doctors Answers (10)

It is hard to give a number to describe recurrence. Because varicose vein disease is chronic and progressive, there is a high likelihood that an area previously treated may develop more veins. How much is due to recurrence (veins coming back) vs progression (veins previously normal that have become abnormal) is difficult to answer. If one has detailed pictures, then a better assessment can be made of this question. Bottom line, once you have been diagnosed/treated for varicose vein disease, you are destined to have future vein treatment in a very high percentage (greater than 50% for sure). But do not be discouraged because there is effective treatment options and preventative measures available. Successful habits to follow to reduce the progression of this problem is to walk regularly and often, and wear compression hose daily.

When properly treated most varicose veins do nor re-occur. However, most patients develop new varicosities over the years as a result of the disease progression.

Varicose veins do not reoccur if treated correctly. Proper treatment of varicose veins involves two stages. First, the underlying "feeder" vein must be ablated (closed down). The root cause of varicose veins is venous insufficiency of a deeper vein. This source must be identified by ultrasound and closed down with a laser or radiofrequency catheter. Once this is done, I perform an ambulatory micro-phlebectomy of the varicose vein. This is a procedure done in the office under local anesthesia where the varicose vein is removed through tiny 1/8 inch slits. It is not vein stripping. There is usually no post-procedure pain and normal daily activities can be resumed the same day.

Varicose veins that are treated using modern techniques including ultrasound evaluation by a vein specialist only rarely reoccur. However, new varicose veins are possible over time. Especially with additional pregnancies, prolonged standing (as with teachers and nurses) and wearing of high heeled shoes. Wearing compression hose at work can be preventative in occupations that require frequent standing. Treated varicose veins will generally be permanently closed and reabsorbed by the body over time. New veins grow easily over your lifetime and if not directly attached to a varicose vein, should function normally for a long time.

Varicose veins are a common vascular problem. They mainly involve the superficial vein system of the lower legs. The superficial veins connect with the deep vein system through veins called perforators. There are many connections between the superficial and deep vein systems. Recurrences are generally secondary to these perforating veins being damaged. Recurrence of varicose veins also depends on how the initial varicose veins were treated. Unlike treatment years ago, when varicose veins recur a vein specialist can generally perform additional treatment of these veins. An exact number for recurrence rates in difficult to generate.

It depends on which veins and what treatment was rendered. Recent advances in Endovenous Laser Ablation have lowered recurrences of saphenous vein disease to 2% or less. I feel a great part of optimal outcomes is the experience to the treating physician. Spider veins are less predictable. Are they new veins or the same previously treated veins? Optimal outcomes occur when Duplex ultrasound is used to assess any underlying and possibly unseen vein disease.

The rate of recurrence of varicose veins after treatment depends on the treatment option used It is 4% only after 10 years if laser is used It is 14% after 10 years if RadioFrequency ablation is used It is > 40% if the old surgical stripping/ ligation option is used.

It depends on heredity, what caused the veins, how they are treated etc.

If treated properly the first time about 15% of the time.

Estimates of varicose vein recurrence range from 20- 40% over a life time. The rate may depend on which treatment was performed. It appears that recurrence is greater after vein stripping.

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