Study: For Varicose Veins, Quicker Treatment Just As Good

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 6:43am

To many mothers, it's just not fair. Nine months of pregnancy, giving birth to a child, and then there's a lasting, unwelcome reminder of the experience: Varicose veins.

The bulging, often painful swelling of blood in the legs can be treated, and a new study confirms that a less invasive method - widely available for about five years – also is slightly better at preventing varicose veins from returning.

The findings were published Monday in the Archives of Dermatology.

For decades, physicians have been removing varicose veins in a procedure that usually requires overnight hospitalization, called high ligation and stripping (HLS). Because most blood flows through veins deep in the leg's tissue, the body can continue on even with these veins removed.

Newer procedures leave the veins in place, but shut them down from inside, most commonly with the heat of a laser inserted by catheter.

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