History of Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins affect men and women of all ages, however
they occur more frequently as we age. Varicose veins are
actually areas where the vein dilates due to a venous valve
that does not function as it should. In the standing position,
thus blood flows back down the vein instead of toward the
heart. Over time the areas that contain the valves dilate
and the visible ‘bumps’ that you see gradually get larger.
Varicose veins can cause symptoms such as swelling,
heaviness, and aching in the leg. Overtime if not
treated more symptoms can occur such as changes in the
skin color or even in some people an ulcer.
The treatment has always been compression stockings in the
past. Although this may temporarily help with symptoms,
compression stockings do not stop progression of
About 100 years ago, high ligation of the saphenous vein
and stripping of the saphenous vein was introduced as a
surgical treatment for varicose veins. Since most varicose
veins come from a branch of the saphenous vein, this
procedure was thought to treat the cause of varicosities.
Over time, it was realized that most people would form new
veins, in many instances as a direct result of surgery.
Sclerotherapy was introduced about seventy-five years ago.
As experience with this technique of injecting solution to
scar the vein increased, the results improved. However,
there were many problems when this technique was used alone
such as prolonged need for compression, and high recurrence
In the early part of 2000, new treatments were introduced
such as thermal ablation (Laser, Radio Frequency) of the
Greater Saphenous Vein, foam sclerotherapy, tumescent
anesthesia, and micro-phlebectomy. The development of these
new procedures allowed vein treatment to safely be done in
the office setting. Also, the results of using these
techniques improved the success of treating varicose veins.
In the last few years, new procedures have been developed
for treating varicose veins and more will probably come in
the future. However, there is no cure for venous disease.
The goal is to safely and effectively treat the venous
problem and its symptoms that you present with. The good
news is that in most cases, even if you develop new veins,
they will be much less and cause fewer problems.