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Will my varicose veins return after treatment?

This question was asked in Manhattan, New York and has 5 answer(s) as of 09/04/2013.
I am thinking about getting treatment for my varicose veins but I have heard that they can return even after treatment. How can I stop my varicose veins from returning after treatment?


Doctors Answers (5)

Varicose veins can recur after treatment. It is usually not the same veins and it's usually many years later but the genetic susceptibility that lead to your varicose veins at present will still exist and can lead to new ones at some time in the future. Wearing compression stockings may help some but there is really nothing that can prevent this.

Varicose veins which have been treated usually do not "return". Other veins will enlarge over time due to the effects of gravity and pressure inside the veins. As these veins enlarge in diameter and elongate, they will become varicose veins. While we cannot change the inherited factors in the development of varicose veins, we can slow down the progression of venous insufficiency and varicose veins be changing our lifestyle. Maintenance of a normal body weight, moderate exercise, avoidance of prolonged sitting or standing when feasible, periodic elevation of the legs higher than the heart, and routine daily use of elastic compression stockings will slow down progression of venous insufficiency.

Treatment should begin with a detailed ultrasound exam to determine the cause and extent of the venous reflux and varicose veins. When adequately treated in the office, the treated veins should be permanently improved and should not reoccur. That does not mean you cannot get new varicose veins from a pregnancy or many years of standing on the job (such as with teachers and nursing). However, your legs should remain much improved over not having any treatment and it is also common not to need treatment of veins in the future. Any new varicose veins typically take many years to occur, are fewer in number and also much smaller in size if they occur at all. Pregnancies are the most likely factor in getting new varicose veins and these are also easily treated several months after the pregnancy. If you already have varicose veins, then a pregnancy would be expected to make the veins worse and add to the number of problem veins. Wearing maternity compression hose as soon as you find out you are pregnant is a good prevention, and if you have to stand a lot in your work consider wearing a light weight (15-20mm/Hg) compression hose at work.

Treated veins almost never come back, instead, one develops new varicosities. Two things to do: first, make sure that whoever treats you really understands the underlying problem, and second, use good vein hygiene, for example, weight control, exercise, avoiding prolonged standing, etc.

The laser ablation procedure for varicose veins has a 96% success rate after 10 years. This means that only 4 % of patients had recurrent disease 10 years after treatment.

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