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Is surgery the only option for treating varicose veins?

Q: I am a 29 years old female. I have observed a visible blue vein below my left knee on the medial side which is there for the last one year. Then I noticed that this vein became engorged on standing accompanied with slight restlessness. Then I found another vein above the knee on the medial side as well which became engorged on standing. I had a Doppler ultrasound of my left leg done and the positive findings were: 2nd degree reflux of the great saphenous vein, which is dilated and relatively tortuous. Two non-competent tiny perforates, one on the mid thigh and another in the leg (that was in the medial side). The doctor suggested surgery of the great saphenous (stripping) and said this was the only treatment for it. But I don't prefer operations and want to know if there is any non-invasive solution, like compression socks? If operation is the only way to treat this, what are its advantages, disadvantages and complications?

A:The condition described is varicose veins affecting the left leg. The cause for this is the valvular incompetence of the great saphenous vein and sapheno-femoral junction incompetence demonstrated by Doppler examination of the leg veins. The ideal treatment at this stage is surgery as advised by vascular surgeon. There are possible complications for any operation and this is no exception. However, if the patient is not keen on surgery, then the most effective treatment that is actually going to help is graduated compression stocking. The only problem with the stocking treatment is that if and when the patient stops using the stocking the symptoms will return and then the condition will be progressive again where as with the surgical treatment, one has to use stocking for 4-6 weeks only and then their use can be stopped.


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