Varicose veins can be treated or in some cases the vein removed in the office using only local anesthetics. The treatments are not difficult and usually involve a few initial injections after which the actual treatment is painless. Large varicose veins usually are closed using fiber optic catheters to laser inside of the vein which effectively close the vein. Micro-phlebectomies are the physical removal of surface veins though very small 1mm skin punctures that are also painless after the anesthetic. Mild soreness is usually minimal following the procedures.
The gold standard treatment nowadays involve an "ablation" procedure (which means heating the vein from the inside ) followed by injections of medication that shrinks any residual patent veins- the 2 procedures are generally done in an outpatient setting and under local anesthesia only- some centers also apply anesthetic cream to the skin before the procedures in order to minimize further the potential pain . In the vast majority of cases, the procedures are well tolerated by patients. Only ibuprofen is recommended for post procedure discomfort ( which lasts 2-3 days on average).
Patients have told me that vein treatments hurt less than having their teeth cleaned. There are many different ways to fix varicose veins. Let the physician know about your concern regarding pain - it may factor into the treatment plan.
There have been revolutionary advancements in the treatment of varicose veins over the last 10-15 years. Almost all patients with varicose veins can now be treated with minimally-invasive treatments such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, and liquid and foam sclerotherapy. These procedures are usually done in-office using local anesthesia. Treatments are done using needle punctures rather than significant incisions. Thus most patients find treatment very tolerable, with post-treatment recovery much easier than in the days of vein stripping. In fact, patients are usually encouraged to resume aerobic activities immediately after treatment.
Disclaimer: The information found on this website is intended to be general medical information; it is not a medical diagnosis or medical advice. Specific medical advice can only be given with full knowledge of all of the facts and circumstances of your health situation. You should seek consultation with a doctor familiar with your medical condition. Posting a question on this website does not create a doctor-patient relationship. All questions you post will be available to the public; do not include confidential information in your question.