Arizona Cardiovascular Institute | Center for Cardiovascular Research & Education

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Varicose Vein Treatment

Do you suffer with varicose veins?

viens.pngVaricose veins are a common condition found in both men and women, affecting nearly ¼ of the adult population in the U.S. While heredity plays a factor in the development of varicose veins, other contributing factors such as weight, sedentary lifestyle and occupation can play a role in the development of varicose veins. Many times when these unsightly, enlarged veins are not accompanied by other symptoms they are mistaken as simply a cosmetic issue. However, varicose veins are often the first sign of venous disease, and some form of treatment is generally considered medically necessary.


Veins in our legs carry blood from different areas of the body back to the heart. When the tiny valves inside these veins no longer work properly, blood can flow backward, down the leg and begin to pool.  This is called “reflux”. Reflux can cause your leg veins to swell and discolor, causing veins to become enlarge. In many instances, these large swollen veins can cause pain, discomfort, and even lead to skin ulcers or blood clots. Depending on the severity of your varicose veins, doctors may recommend one of following treatments:

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

During RFA, a catheter is inserted into the vein. The tip of the catheter emits a form of energy that safely destroys and collapses the vein. The vein naturally seals itself off, and the body quickly re-routes the blood to healthier veins along the same pathway. This treatment is performed in the office with a local anesthetic. Typically, patients do not experience a great deal of discomfort during RFA procedures and often resume daily activities later that day.


With the use of a local anesthetic, access to the vein will be made through a single tiny puncture. The Venaseal closure device is then inserted to allow the doctor to deliver a medical grade adhesive that closes off the enlarged vein. The entire procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and unlike other varicose vein treatment options, Venaseal does not use energy (heat) to treat the vein, and requires only one puncture site. Many patients prefer this type of vein treatment as compression stockings are not required following the procedure.


With sclerotherapy, a chemical is injected into the vein that causes it to collapse. This technique used to only be recommended for small to medium sized varicose veins, but with a new foam solution, some larger varicose veins can be treated with this in-office procedure.