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Treatment Options for Painful Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, or enlarged veins, affect approximately 40% of the US population. For many, the veins are a cosmetic concern due to the bulging lines they can create  on the legs. However, varicose veins can also cause painful symptoms, such as burning, itching, skin discoloration and the potential to form ulcers on the skin. But, treatments are better than ever and can be done in an outpatient setting.
Painful varicose veins

Venous insufficiency or vein reflux disease – the improper functioning of the vein valves – is the primary cause for varicose veins. While both men and women experience varicose veins, women are more affected than men due to body changes during pregnancy. Heredity also plays a role in the presence of these veins.


Since each patient is different, it’s important to have a vein consultation with a healthcare professional, like an interventional radiologist, to discuss symptoms, concerns and possible treatment options. An ultrasound is often performed to determine if you have venous insufficiency. At Wake Radiology, if vein reflux is found, one of our interventional radiologists will talk you through treatment options.

Many times, painful veins can be closed or removed through vein ablation, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. A small catheter is inserted into the vein and a laser is used to close  the vein. At Wake Radiology, this procedure takes about 20 minutes and is performed at our outpatient office in Cary.

After this simple procedure, it’s important to stay active. Patients are able and encouraged to go about their daily routine. The only true limitations are no long distance traveling or heavy, strenuous activity for two weeks.

Is It Covered By Insurance?

There’s a common belief that vein procedures are purely cosmetic and not covered by insurance. Although true in some cases, the vein treatments may be covered by insurance when medically indicated. The medical significance of your varicose veins and possible treatment can be discussed during a vein consultation.

Whether you’re experiencing painful symptoms in your legs, or simply dislike the way your varicose veins look, the dedicated vein radiologists at Wake Radiology can help you best determine treatment options. If you’re ready to schedule a vein consultation, you can do so on our website or by calling our scheduling team at 919.788.1916.


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