Varicose Veins

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If you have varicose veins, you probably want to hide them. But varicose veins aren't just a cosmetic concern. These enlarged veins may signal the presence of chronic venous insufficiency, or venous reflux disease. These can worsen symptoms, including:

  • Leg and ankle swelling
  • Leg heaviness, tension or fatigue
  • Pain at the site of the varicose veins
  • Leg restlessness
  • Leg cramps
  • Itching
  • Ulcers or open wounds

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA Health

At UVA Health, you'll have a vascular specialist to diagnose and treat your varicose veins.

You'll need a physical exam and an ultrasound for a diagnosis.

Treatment depends on where and how severe your varicose veins are. Compression stockings might ease symptoms and prevent leg swelling.

We also offer the full array of treatments for vein problems.


This minimally invasive treatment avoids the pain and recovery time of vein stripping or burning. VenaSeal uses a medical glue, delivered with a catheter, to treat diseased veins. 

Learn more about the benefits of VenaSeal.


We inject a chemical treatment directly into the affected vein to close the vein. The vein turns to scar tissue and fades from view. Results are immediate without any activity restrictions.

Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT)

EVLT is a minimally invasive laser procedure. It shrinks or scars the greater saphenous vein. This vein runs alongside the inner thigh and calf. This procedure involves general anesthesia and a small incision near the knee. Your doctor guides a wire catheter into the saphenous vein to ablate or burn the undesired vein. This causes the body to reabsorb and redirect blood flow.

This procedure takes about an hour. You'll have to wear compression garments for a week and walk frequently after EVLT to prevent blood clots. You should be able to return to work the next day. We will perform a follow-up ultrasound at the Vein Clinic one week after treatment.

Surgical Vein Removal

We offer 2 types of surgery when varicose veins are too complex or advanced to treat with other procedures: 

  • Ambulatory phlebectomy
  • Saphenous vein stripping

Both procedures involve anesthesia, one or more incisions, and direct removal of the undesired vein(s).

You'll need to wear compression garments for 48 hours after surgery. In one month, you'll return for a follow-up exam.