Detour

Medical treatments for varicose veins don't hinder circulation -- even when the varicose vein is destroyed. Why? The network of vessels in the human body is so efficient that blood is automatically detoured to nearby veins [source: American Academy of Dermatologists].

Varicose Vein Treatments

Some measures used to prevent varicose veins, like wearing compression stockings or elevating the feet, can be used to treat minor varicose vein conditions [source: Mayo Clinic]. There are also a number of medical treatments, most of which don't require you to check in to a hospital or take time off work.

In fact, many of the vein treatment procedures approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be performed at a physician's office. Most in-office procedures cost $300 to $400 for each treatment session [source: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery].

Despite some advertising claims, however, varicose vein treatments don't offer a guarantee that you'll be hassle-free in the coming years. Although recent breakthroughs -- like laser treatments -- offer high success rates, they don't cure weak vein valves. This means that if you're prone to this problem, new varicose veins will probably develop in the future [source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services].

One of the most common non-surgical treatments is sclerotherapy, in which a solution is injected into the vein with a needle. This causes the vein to swell, seal shut, turn into scar tissue and fade within a few weeks [source: American Academy of Dermatologists]. This treatment can be up to 90 percent effective in "erasing" varicose veins, but difficult veins may need more than one treatment [source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]. Other side effects can include bruising or swelling at the injection site [source: WebMD].

Other treatments use radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize and close varicose veins. Also known as endovenous ablation, these treatments are non-invasive, require little downtime and are thought to be more effective than surgically removing the veins. Vein ligation and stripping, for example, is a surgical procedure during which incisions are made in the skin covering the vein. The vein is then tied and removed, and the incisions are closed with sutures [source: WebMD].

Wondering if there's a more natural route to get rid of varicose veins? Find out on the next page.