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History of Varicose Vein Treatment

Treatment for varicose veins is not new; in fact, it has been around for thousands of years. Of course, techniques have evolved considerably since those early options, with procedures that are safer and more efficient than ever before. Check out these facts about the history of varicose veins and see how far we have come since those “grapelike” veins were addressed so many generations ago.

Origins of Varicose Vein Treatment

The very origin of the term stems from a Greek word that means “grapelike.” At that time, the Greeks learned to treat the bulging, swollen legs that frequently appeared on the lower legs by irritating them with a wire. Hippocrates favored treating varicose veins through multiple punctures and compression, while other physicians of the time used ligation (surgical removal) of the principal vein in the leg to eliminate those visible vessels. Cauterization (burning of the affected vessel) was also frequently used to remove swollen vessels from the leg.

The Introduction of Injections

In the mid-1800s, the development of the hypodermic syringe changed the face of varicose vein treatments considerably. It was at this time that treatment by injection came into vogue, the earliest attempts at what is known today as sclerotherapy. At that point, physicians used iodine or a substance known as perchloride of iron to destroy the veins from the inside out. However, these solutions had potentially deadly side effects, and the use of injections was abandoned for some time until safer techniques and formulations could be found.

Surgery is Explored

By the beginning of the 20th century, surgery became a top choice in removing varicose veins. These procedures were very crude, and the complications associated with the surgery made this option unattractive to most patients. Even today, as surgical techniques have been modified, surgery is not a top choice in varicose vein treatment for most patients and doctors.

Treatment by injection also returned during this century, with safer solutions that provided better results than the injectable treatments of the previous century. However, these treatments required prolonged compression therapy afterward, and recurrence rates were still quite high. Despite these drawbacks, sclerotherapy continued to be one of the top choices in vein treatments throughout the 1900s, especially since patients associated surgery with significant pain and an extended recovery period.

Modern Treatments offer Safety, Efficacy

Today’s vein treatments look very different than those used in the past, emphasizing safety and long-term results. At Vein Care Center, we offer the very latest in varicose vein procedures, including:


Now advanced and more effective than ever before, this procedure continues to be the gold standard in treating spider veins and smaller varicose veins.


Similar to traditional sclerotherapy, this treatment uses a thicker sclerosing agent and ultrasound imaging to treat larger veins deeper beneath the surface of the leg.

Endovenous Laser Therapy

This treatment delivers laser energy into the varicose vein to seal the vein closed so it can be reabsorbed by the body.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

This minimally-invasive procedure removes larger, bulging varicose veins from the leg in small sections, using micro-incisions and special tools to minimize trauma to the surrounding skin and tissue.

We also provide our patients with compression therapy and leg exercise to further enhance the results of their procedures and prevent recurrence of spider and varicose veins.

With modern treatments that offer positive cosmetic results and relief from painful symptoms, there is no reason not to seek treatment for your varicose veins today. To learn more about any of these procedures, contact the Vein Care Center today at 419-227-4472 or 866-472-4472.

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