Most common myth among patients seeking treatment in varicose veins

As a Vascular Surgeon with an active varicose vein practice I meet many patients seeking treatment for varicose veins and spider veins (aka thread veins or telangiectasia). Most are misinformed about the role of LASER therapy. The most common myth among patients seeking treatment is that varicose veins and spider veins can be treated with LASER. This is far from the truth.

In fact, for superficial varicose veins whether they are the bulging, protruding type of varicose veins (Picture 1) or the surface non bulging blue or green veins (aka reticular veins – Picture 2), sclerotherapy is the gold standard of treatment rather than LASER. (ref 1,2,3).

Spider veins (Picture 3) on the other hand can be treated either with transdermal LASER or with sclerotherapy. With the majority of experienced practicing vascular surgeons and phlebologists actually favour sclerotherapy.( ref 2,3, 4)

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Picture 3:


1.Goldman M P, Bergan J J. Sclerotherapy: Treatment of Varicose and Telangiectatic Leg Veins. 3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2001. pp. 1–6.
2. A R Shamma, R J Guy Sclerotherapy: Light, Foam, Pearls & Perils American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery – Orlando, Florida.April 2006
3.McCausland S. The modern treatment of varicose veins. Med Press Circ. 1939;201:404–410.
4.Duffy D M. Small vessel sclerotherapy: an overview. Adv Dermatol. 1988;3:221–242.
5.Green A R, Morgan B DG. Sclerotherapy for venous flare. Br J Plast Surg. 1985;38:241–242.

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