Varicose veins are a common condition affecting nearly one-third of US adults. They occur when the venous valves that help move blood around your body malfunction.
Typically, these valves allow blood to flow only one way. But when they become weak or damaged, they may allow blood to flow backward, where it pools in the veins.
This causes the veins to swell, twist, bulge, and take on the deep blue or purple hue that characterizes varicose veins. Varicose veins are largely a cosmetic concern. But some people do experience unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, swelling, aching, and throbbing.
Luckily, several highly effective varicose veins treatments are available, including sclerotherapy, microphlebectomy, and laser therapy. But many people wonder, “Can varicose veins come back after treatment?”
The short answer is yes: Varicose veins sometimes come back after treatment. However, the likelihood of recurrence depends on several factors.
What Causes Varicose Veins to Reappear?
Several factors influence whether varicose veins reappear, including the type of treatment, the severity of the varicose veins, and the patient’s lifestyle habits.
It is highly unlikely that varicose veins will form again in the treatment area, but it’s not impossible. Read on to learn why varicose veins may reappear after treatment.
Varicose veins may reappear if the initial treatment was inadequate. The treatment may not have been extensive enough or may have been the wrong type of treatment for the patient’s unique case. For example, laser therapy might have been used when vein stripping would have been more appropriate.
It’s also possible that nearby veins will begin to experience the same venous reflux that caused the original varicose veins to form.
New Blood Vessel Growth
The human body is remarkable at healing itself after illness, injury, or surgery, going as far as to grow new blood vessels when old ones are damaged. However, the new blood vessels may also have weak or malfunctioning valves, leading to the recurrence of varicose veins.
In very rare cases — less than 5% — recanalization occurs. This is when the treated veins reopen, allowing blood to pool in the same areas as before. However, the chance of this occurring can be mitigated by choosing the right treatment with your vein specialist.
Risk Factors Are Still Present
Certain risk factors, including age, genetics, and lifestyle, increase your chance of redeveloping varicose veins. After receiving varicose vein treatment, you may redevelop varicose veins if these risk factors are still present.
Although you can’t change your age or genetics, you can change your lifestyle. For example, being obese or sedentary increases your chance of developing varicose veins.
Varicose veins are also common during pregnancy. So if you plan on getting pregnant in the future, it might be best to hold off on treatment until you are done having children.
Certain Chronic Conditions
Varicose veins can form without any underlying conditions being present. In these cases, as long as a healthy lifestyle is maintained, it’s unlikely that new varicose veins will appear.
However, if certain chronic or progressive underlying conditions have caused varicose veins to form, they will likely continue to appear after treatment.
Some chronic conditions that may cause varicose veins to reappear include high blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis, and venous insufficiency.
What Can You Do to Prevent Varicose Veins from Reoccurring?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for preventing the formation of new varicose veins. This includes exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting.
When sitting or standing for long periods is unavoidable, you should take frequent breaks to stretch and move around. These breaks can help improve circulation and reduce the risk of varicose veins.
Wearing compression stockings can also help prevent the recurrence of varicose veins. They are beneficial for patients with a history of varicose veins or at high risk for developing them.
What Should You Do if Varicose Veins Reappear?
If bothersome varicose veins reappear, you should seek treatment before they worsen. At Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center, our experts will help you determine which treatment is right for you. Call us today to schedule your consultation.