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How old do you have to be to get varicose vein treatment?

I am 18 and I already have a big varicose vein appearing on the inside of my right knee. It looks ugly and I am bothered by it whenever I wear shorts. One of my friends is telling me I should get it treated already, but another is saying I should wait until I get older. Is there a recommended age to have varicose veins removed? Can you be too young or too old for the treatments to work?

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Doctors Answers (3)

There is no age limit for treating these problems. We have treated young people at age 15 -16 years old and it is not that uncommon for someone of your age to start getting these problems - this is typically an inherited condition known as Chronic Venous Insufficiency. However, it is very important that you have an evaluation by an experienced vascular surgeon who specializes in vein problems. The examination involves an ultrasound test as well. This will determine if the veins do or do not have an underlying cause (saphenous reflux). If this is purely cosmetic and not causing problems the veins could be removed (microphlebectomy) or injected (sclerotherapy) if smaller. Both of these have nice cosmetic results. If you have symptoms (pain, aching, heaviness) and there is underlying reflux, the vein can be treated with laser (endovenous ablation) and microphlebectomy, and may be covered by your insurance.

There is no age to treat the veins. It depends on symptoms and how they affect you. You should get a consultation from a vascular professional.

The truth is that you are not too young. However, if it is an isolated varicose vein that is asymptomatic, the treatment would be considered cosmetic by most insurance companies. Your out-of-pocket cost could range from a few hundred to as high as nearly $1000 if insurance did not cover it. I hope this information helps.

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