What Are The Treatment Options For Varicose Veins: What Kind Of Doctor Treats Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are a common vascular condition that affects millions of people worldwide. They occur when the veins in the legs become swollen, twisted, and enlarged, causing discomfort and sometimes pain. While varicose veins are often seen as a cosmetic concern, they can lead to more severe health issues if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options available, and seeking the right medical professional is crucial in managing this condition. In this comprehensive guide, what are the treatment options for varicose veins and shed light on the type of doctor you should consult for the best care.

Understanding Varicose Veins

Varicose veins typically develop in the legs and are characterized by their bluish or purplish appearance, often bulging or twisted. They occur when the one-way valves in the veins, which are responsible for ensuring blood flows towards the heart, become weak or damaged. As a result, blood pools in the veins, causing them to expand and become visible beneath the skin’s surface.

Common Symptoms of Varicose Veins

  1. Visible veins: One of the most apparent signs of varicose veins is the presence of swollen, twisted veins on the legs, which can be unsightly and may cause self-consciousness.
  2. Aching or pain: Many individuals with varicose veins experience discomfort, aching, or throbbing sensations in their legs, especially after prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
  3. Swelling: The affected leg may become swollen, particularly around the ankle and calf areas.
  4. Itching or burning: Some people report itching or burning sensations in the vicinity of the affected veins.
  5. Leg cramps: Varicose veins can lead to nighttime leg cramps, which can be quite painful.
  6. Skin changes: In advanced cases, the skin around varicose veins may become discolored, dry, or even develop open sores known as venous ulcers.

Treatment Options For Varicose Veins

What Kind of Doctor Treats Varicose Veins? The treatment of varicose veins aims to alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and improve the appearance of the affected legs. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s specific needs. Here are some of the most common treatment options for varicose veins:

  1. Lifestyle Changes: For individuals with mild varicose veins or those looking to prevent them, making certain lifestyle modifications can be beneficial. These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly to promote good circulation, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
  2. Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are a non-invasive option that can help manage varicose vein symptoms. These specialized stockings provide graduated pressure on the legs, helping to improve blood flow and reduce swelling and discomfort.
  3. Sclerotherapy: This minimally invasive procedure is often used for smaller varicose veins and spider veins. A solution is injected into the affected vein, causing it to collapse and eventually fade away. Sclerotherapy is performed by dermatologists and some vascular surgeons.
  4. Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): EVLA is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to seal off the affected vein. This method is highly effective for larger varicose veins and is usually performed by vascular surgeons or interventional radiologists.
  5. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): RFA is similar to EVLA but uses radiofrequency energy to heat and close the problematic vein. It is a safe and effective treatment option for varicose veins and is typically performed by vascular specialists.
  6. Ambulatory Phlebectomy: In this procedure, a surgeon removes small sections of varicose veins through tiny incisions in the skin. Ambulatory phlebectomy is typically used for larger veins and is performed by vascular surgeons.
  7. Laser Therapy: Laser therapy can be used to treat smaller varicose veins and spider veins on the face and legs. Dermatologists often perform this non-invasive procedure.
  8. High Ligation and Vein Stripping: This surgical procedure involves tying off and removing the damaged vein. While less common today due to minimally invasive alternatives, it may still be recommended in certain cases and is typically performed by vascular surgeons.
  9. Endoscopic Vein Surgery: Reserved for severe cases with venous ulcers, this procedure involves using a small camera to visualize and surgically remove damaged veins. It is performed by vascular surgeons.
  10. Foam Sclerotherapy: Foam sclerotherapy is a variation of traditional sclerotherapy where a foam solution is injected into the vein, allowing for better coverage and treatment of larger varicose veins.

Choosing The Right Doctor

Selecting the right doctor for your varicose vein treatment is essential for a successful outcome. The type of doctor you should consult depends on the severity of your condition and the treatment option you are considering:

  1. Primary Care Physician: If you have mild varicose veins and are in the early stages, your primary care physician can provide guidance on lifestyle changes and recommend the use of compression stockings.
  2. Dermatologist: Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of skin conditions and are well-equipped to handle cosmetic aspects of varicose vein treatment, particularly through procedures like laser therapy and sclerotherapy.
  3. Vascular Surgeon: Vascular surgeons are experts in treating conditions of the blood vessels, including varicose veins. They can perform a wide range of procedures, from minimally invasive techniques like EVLA and RFA to more invasive surgeries if necessary.
  4. Interventional Radiologist: These specialists use imaging guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures, such as EVLA, RFA, and foam sclerotherapy, to treat varicose veins.
  5. Phlebologist: A phlebologist is a doctor who specializes in vein disorders and is often well-versed in the latest vein treatments and technologies.
  6. Vascular Medicine Specialist: These doctors focus on non-surgical treatments for vascular conditions and can provide comprehensive care for varicose veins, including medical management and minimally invasive procedures.


Varicose veins are a common vascular issue that can cause discomfort, pain, and cosmetic concerns. Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options available, ranging from lifestyle changes and compression stockings to minimally invasive procedures and surgeries. Choosing the right doctor is crucial in managing varicose veins effectively. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may consult with your primary care physician, a dermatologist, vascular surgeon, interventional radiologist, phlebologist, or vascular medicine specialist. The key is to seek professional medical advice early to determine the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Don’t let varicose veins hold you back; consult a qualified specialist today to improve your vascular health and enhance your quality of life.

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