Approximately 30% of women and 20% of men will have varicose veins in their lifetime.
According to Dr. Mangalore Subbarao, varicose veins are dilated and twisted veins in the legs that look like a snake under the skin. Not to be mistaken for spider veins, varicose veins are much more pronounced and can come with burning pain and swelling. In the past, varicose veins were treated by a method called stripping. This technique involved removal of the vein through a cutting method. Hooks are used to pull the vein out of the leg.
Dr. Subbarao says that this method is not recommended today.
“We used to do stripping 10, 15 maybe 20 years ago,” he said. “It was a good operation, but it was brutal. We don’t do stripping anymore. It has almost become a dinosaur.”
With stripping, the patient had a longer recovery period than the newer non-invasive treatment. Now, the recovery time is almost nonexistent.
“You are not down even one day. It is one day because it is done with a minimum invasion procedure with a needle-stick or a small one centimeter cut. You are walking on the same day and you go back to work the next day.”
If left untreated, varicose veins can cause skin ulcers in extreme cases. Dr. Subbarao said if your legs are hurting, you may need varicose vein surgery. Check with your family physician.