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How Do I Know If I Really NEED Vein Treatment?

Venous disease is quite common, with researchers estimating that up to over half of all adults may be affected. The most prevalent type of venous disease is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), the underlying cause of spider, reticular and varicose veins.

Since CVI is so widespread, some see it as completely normal and nothing to be worried about. You may have thought of visible veins as nothing more than a nuisance that limits your choice of summer clothes. But there are instances where visible veins absolutely NEED treatment. Below is more on when and why that’s the case.

Understanding Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), also known as venous reflux, is a condition affecting the veins. It is a common cause of:

Veins are blood vessels that carry oxygen-depleted blood from the organs and tissues back to the heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated. Unlike arteries, veins don’t have smooth muscle within their walls and rely on gravity, valves and movement to do their job. But inactivity, aging, pregnancy, smoking and many other risk factors can weaken vein walls and their valves, leading to CVI.

In CVI, blood flows backward and “pools” inside the vein, increasing pressure on its walls. The legs are usually most affected, and symptoms include:

  • Dilated and visible veins
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Achy and heavy legs
  • Changes in skin color and texture
  • Leg ulcers

While spider veins as a consequence of CVI rarely cause discomfort, reticular and especially varicose veins are a different story. These problems can signal a deeper issue in your venous system that needs treatment.

Who Needs Vein Treatment?

If you have visible veins on the legs, you’ve probably thought about whether you should treat them or not. Maybe your visible veins don’t cause any symptoms? Perhaps you hope they will clear on their own? Or you’re simply waiting for them to worsen before you decide?

While most people with asymptomatic varicose veins don’t need treatment, those with uncomfortable symptoms do. CVI is a progressive disease that only gets worse if left to run its course. Not treating CVI in its early stages means you run the risk of developing blood clots, skin infections, spontaneous bleeding and hard-to-treat skin ulcers.

So, if your visible veins are causing uncomfortable symptoms, you need treatment. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Twisted and bulging veins
  • An achy or heavy legs, especially when standing
  • Tingling, burning or cramping in your legs
  • Itching around the visible vein
  • Increased pain after standing or sitting for an extended period
  • Dark skin patches in the lower legs

However, even if you do not have any symptoms other than visible veins, you can have them treated to improve your appearance and prevent them from getting worse.

Vein Treatment Options

If you were diagnosed with varicose veins or another venous disease, or you think you might have problem veins, you’ll be happy to learn that you have several treatment options to choose from. Effective vein treatment options include:

Compression stockings

Socks specially designed to help treat varicose veins are often the first line of treatment in vein therapy. They work by mildly compressing the veins to encourage blood flow from the lower extremities to the heart and lungs. Compression stockings fit snugly at the bottom and are looser at the top. They come in different strengths of compression, from light to tight. Compression therapy is rarely recommended as a stand-alone treatment for varicose veins, however.


This procedure involves the complete surgical removal of the problem vein through multiple small incisions. Surgeons usually perform it on larger veins that bulge beyond the surface of the skin. Patients must wear compression stockings for a couple of weeks after this procedure.

Vein ablation

Veins can be removed without surgery with vein ablation treatments. These minimally invasive procedures use radiofrequency or laser energy to irritate the vein, causing it to collapse and be reabsorbed by the body. These procedures can treat large and painful varicose veins, even deeper ones that are not visible but cause symptoms.


Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive varicose and spider vein treatment. It also relies on controlled irritation of the vein to make it “collapse.” However, unlike laser and radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy involves the use of sclerosing agents, which are drugs containing chemical irritants.

Besides the above, it is recommended to avoid sitting or standing for long periods, to move around as much as possible to increase blood flow from the veins, and to elevate your legs when sitting.

Still Not Sure if Vein Treatment Is for You?

If you are unsure whether you should have vein treatment, why not come in for a vein screening at Specialty Vein Care in Norfolk, MA? We regularly perform non-invasive exams to see if your veins are a sign of a deeper issue. We accept doctor’s referrals and accept patients on a self-referral basis.

Vein screening at Specialty Vein Care is the perfect opportunity to learn about the health of your veins and whether we can help you find relief. The whole exam takes less than an hour to complete and involves the following steps:

A brief survey. This is to see whether you have risk factors that may be contributing to venous disease. We will also ask questions about your medical history and whether you are currently on medication.

A color duplex ultrasound. This is one of the most effective screening tools when it comes to diagnosing vein conditions, including deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins. This exam allows doctors to check the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins.

Physical assessment. We look for signs of venous disease, such as visible bulging and skin discoloration. We will look at your entire leg, from the groin to the feet, while you are in a standing position.

Following your exam, one of our nurse practitioners will meet with you to discuss your findings and offer suggestions about the best treatment options for your case.


Call us today at (508) 906-5200 to schedule your appointment, or fill out our appointment request form. We look forward to going through this journey with you and being the help you need.