In my daily practice in The Vein Clinic, I probably get asked this question about 4-5 times a day.
Most people tend to think of varicose veins as a purely cosmetic problem with no medical relevance. They will usually not seek treatment unless it has developed significant complication like bleeding or leg ulceration. Another reason why patients are not open to treatment could be because they may have heard the surgery needed is an invasive stripping surgery requiring anesthesia, multiple large incisions and hospitalization. Many patients also think that there is significant danger that they may not be able to walk after that.
Fortunately all this has change with the introduction of Endovenous Laser Treatment. Now we have a treatment method that can eliminate all varicose veins without any incision, or anesthesia. This can often be done as an Office procedure with no need for hospitalization. Patient can come in for the procedure and walk out 1-2 hours later with minimal amount of post-procedural pain.
So to answer my own question, I think there are many reasons why varicose veins should be treated
- Varicose veins will progress: Varicose veins is a progressive problem, it will not go away. No amount of cream or medication can cure it. Stocking and leg elevation will relieve the symptoms and slow the progression but they don't cure your veins.
- Symptomatic varicose veins: Varicose veins or spider veins can cause a lot of discomfort and ache in the calf. Patients often complaint that their legs tire easily and they suffer from calf cramps at night. Painkillers are not effective for such symptoms. Such patients will experience relief from all these symptoms once the varicose veins are treated.
- Complicated varicose veins: Patients whose varicose veins are complicated by bleeding or infection should seek treatment early because the infection or bleeding are likely to recur. Patients who have developed ankle ulcers from varicose veins need to know that treating the veins is the only way to achieve long term healing of the ulcers
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) is non-invasive: unlike the traditional stripping surgery, treatment using EVLT eliminate varicose veins without major surgery. There are no surgical incision, no need for general anesthesia or hospitalization and patients can walk immediately with only minimal pain.
- Look Good Again: Ladies who have varicose veins are often very conscious of the ugly bulging veins on their legs. They dare not wear skirts and they stay away from sports like tennis and running. With the Endovenous Laser Treatment, the varicose veins are eliminated without any scars. The legs looked as good as new.
- Insurance cover: Varicose Veins is a medical condition and should be covered by your insurance if you have one.