Comparison of treatment options

Treatment Advantages Disadvantages
Lifestyle changes
You do regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking. 
  • Helps prevent condition from getting worse
  • Will support all other options below
  • Does not remove existing veins
Compression stockings
During the day you wear thick elastic stockings to compress the veins.
  • Improves circulation
  • Prevents condition from getting worse
  • Does not remove existing veins
  • Hot and sweaty to wear
  • Appearance is unattractive 
Surgery
A surgeon cuts and ties the affected vein diverting blood to healthier veins, or makes small incision in the leg and using a suction device removes the veins.
  • Single treatment
  • Immediate removal
  • Can treat large varicose veins
  • Risk of scarring at incision cuts
  • 1-3 weeks recovery
  • Possible overnight stay in hospital
  • 20% of procedures need to be repeated
Photothermolysis
Short bursts of laser / IPL energy are used to target and break down the veins.
  • Veins fade in 2-3 weeks
  • Suitable for fine to small superficial veins
  • No incision cuts, so no scars
  • Multiple treatments required
  • Moderate risk of pigmentation
  • Not effective at treating deeper veins
Sclerotherapy
A chemical solution is injected into each vein to seal it closed.
  • Veins disappear in 2-3 weeks
  • Suitable for small to medium veins
  • Can treat superficial and deep veins
  • No incision cuts, so no scars
  • Multiple treatments required
  • Minor risk of temporary pigmentation
  • Not suitable for large veins
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