published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Ask a doctor: Do the newer varicose vein treatments really work?

By Dr. Chris Lesar

Q. The newer varicose vein treatments seem a lot simpler than the old vein-stripping procedure. Do they really work?

A. Varicose veins are one of the most common vascular concerns affecting 33 percent of women and 20 percent of men in this country. The newer therapies are all minimally invasive, often are done through a small needle, and last approximately one half hour, but more importantly are very effective in treating this problem. The main symptoms are bulging veins in the lower legs associated with pain, swelling, heaviness, itching and advanced problems where the skin becomes hyper-pigmented with possible ulcer formation. If venous disease is suspected, a vascular specialist will obtain a noninvasive ultrasound, looking for the “leaky valves” that cause pressure within the veins. When these are found, ablation can be performed that closes these valves, reduces pressure in the vein and relieves symptoms.

— Dr. Chris Lesar, University, Surgical Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers.

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