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What are the long-term health consequences of varicose vein removal?

From what I have seen, most varicose vein treatment options are safe with a quick recovery time. But beyond the apparent safety of the treatment itself, isn't it bad to remove veins from our legs? Don't we need those veins, even if they are varicose? Do healthy veins grow-in after treatment? What are the long-term overall health consequences of varicose vein removal?


Doctors Answers (4)

Removing or treating varicose veins improves the circulation by improving venous return to the heart. It is similar to pruning bad branches from a tree which are now only a burden on the tree. Our veins have a similar branching appearance and treating or removing problem branches is beneficial. VEINS CAN GROW QUICKLY AND EASILY THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE AS NEEDED, so you will always have an adequate number of veins. The question is how functional are the veins that you have? With advanced venous insufficiency and varicose veins a patient may actually have too many veins, with the lower legs often turning purple in color due to the large number of veins, yet the venous circulation is impaired. The problem here is that most of the veins are not working properly and so blood just sits in the vein, unable to travel uphill against gravity back to the heart. With veins you will always have enough, but they also need to work properly.

The cause of varicose veins is underlying venous reflux which is successfully treated with laser ablation and microphlebectomy (removal of the varicose veins through tiny punctures) under local anesthetic and is an office-based procedure. In the presence of reflux, the treatment described will improve the circulation by returning the spent blood back to the heart and lungs. Varicose veins allow blood to pool or flow slowly due to broken valves and increase the risk of clotting, skin discoloration and developing ankle ulcers. There are many other veins which are already aiding in returning the blood. Hence, in the presence of a health deep vein system, the body functions very well without the varicose and saphenous veins which are faulty.

Varicose veins by definition are pathologic, and therefore can only be a negative, hence removal per se is beneficial. There is no benefit to having insufficient veins. A slightly abnormal vein might possibly be useful as a vascular graft, but that is problematic. Veins never "regrow;" in short, removal or ablation is almost always appropriate.

No long-term health consequences. If you have venous insufficiency it should improve your circulation and help with the long-term removal of the veins.

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