Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find answers to many of your questions about varicose vein surgery. Learn how it’s done, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
To see how the surgery works, view our animation below.
For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged superficial (close to the surface) veins, usually in your legs, that are no longer doing a good job of getting blood back up your legs to your heart. Instead, the blood pools causing symptoms like heaviness, aching, swelling and itching.
Spider veins are sometimes associated with varicose veins. Spider veins are clusters of tiny blood vessels just under your skin. They’re mainly a cosmetic problem. However, if the pressure in the underlying veins is high it's possible they may bleed. Treatments for spider veins under 2.5 mm in diameter aren’t usually covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
What procedures can treat varicose veins?
Varicose vein treatments include several procedures where your doctor simply closes off the vein. This can be done by injecting a substance that seals the vein. Other procedures involve laser, radiofrequency ablation or glue. With varicose vein stripping surgery your doctor removes the main vein through a small incision in your groin, with another incision lower in your leg and small incisions in between. All the procedures work by diverting blood through other veins instead of the varicose veins on the surface.
Why's it done?
Varicose veins are unsightly as well as painful. Left untreated, they can cause eczema, bleeding and painful leg ulcers. There is also a risk of superficial thrombosis (blood clotting) in the vein.
Alternatives to a varicose vein procedure
There may be other options that’ll work for you.
Types of varicose vein procedures
There are different ways to treat varicose veins.
Results vs risks of varicose vein surgery
The benefits and potential complications.
Choosing a specialist
How to find a varicose vein surgeon.
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