Varicose Veins & Spider Veins

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Varicose Vein Stripping

    (1 reply)

    Looking for personal experiences from anyone who has had major vein stripping done. I've been told it's major surgery and so am nervous. Have extreme pain in both my legs and it is affecting the quality of life. I had laser removal done a few years back, but the benefits only lasted a year. Now my legs ache all the time and I am desperate for some relief. I wear compression stockings 24/7. I was told that with vein stripping the surgeon will make about fifty incisions down each leg and remove the veins. The surgery is painful and the recovery is long. Anyone who has had this done, was it worth the surgery and recovery? How many years have you remained pain free? Thanks.

    Are you sure you need full vein stripping? Just wondering if you've fully explored (or gotten a 2nd opinion) about sclerotherapy for varicose veins. Much less invasive and shorter recovery, but if your VVs are severe, you may not be a candidate...? Just thought to mention sclerotherapy. Good luck!

  • Severe Varicose Veins and Air Travel

    (3 replies)

    I am looking at an 11 hour flight to visit my ailing mother. I have severe varicose veins and have to wear compression stockings round the clock and even sleep with my legs elevated. Last time I flew, my legs swelled up a lot and resulted in severe prolonged pain. I have never flown first class and am wondering if that might help. Would I be able to elevate my legs? Also, I'm wondering if that would be a safer option perhaps offering some protection from covid-19?

    Thank you for any input and/or ideas.

    tl; dr: I definitely think that a pod-like lay-flat seat would help with both giving you extra space in the name of COVID protection and also with your varicose veins. You didn't say where you need to travel to but there are many different iterations of first/business class seats so please be careful when selecting your airline and your seat! Always consult seatguru as you book or call the airline to confirm if they don't have a picture. Also, double check a week before your trip to make sure there hasn't been an aircraft swap.

    The lay flat seats (that turn into a bed) - are the ones you often see from SFO to Asia and Europe and to major hubs on the east coast. The big airlines all have their versions of them but the nicest one is JetBlue Mint. With a few exceptions, like Singapore Airlines and some versions of Air France, you can expect these seats in *both* business class and first class (you do not necessarily need to spend the extra money to buy a "first class" seat when business class will suffice). You can still sit up but also easily elevate your legs with your footrest. When it's time to sleep, you can also figure out how to "cradle yourself" so that your legs are elevated. You may not be completely flat (like a bed) if you need your legs elevated but it will be worlds more comfortable than an economy seat. 

    FYI: A regular domestic first class-type seat that reclines but doesn't go flat wouldn't be as effective as many of them do not even have a foot rest so I would not spend my money on those seats. You're better off getting an economy seat with extra space and putting a suitcase underneath the seat in front you to prop your legs up on. Safe travels!

    Yes check if that flight has a flat bed. It makes a huge difference! For Covid risk take wipes to clean the bathroom before abs after use. That is the biggest risk as planes have hepa filters so the air is clean. 

    One suggestion I have for the swelling is to get into a pool as soon as possible after you arrive. The pressure of the water helps your body return to "normal." I always do this in both directions when I fly, and I try to get into deep water every other day, especially when I'm traveling. I haven't tried flying first class. Train travel (sleeper car) was much better than flying but I'm assuming that you don't have the time for that.

  • Painful Varicose Veins

    (3 replies)

    I have very painful varicose veins.

    Can anyone share their experience of utilizing acupuncture to treat the condition?

    Did it work at alleviating pain?

    If so, how long did it take for pain to be drastically decreased?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your experience!

    Have not tried acupuncture but swear by this liquid tumeric! It is truly a miracle cure.

    My pain has vanished, and I was looking at having vein stripping done because both my legs were so bad. I could literally not function. Please try this. Good luck!

    I did not try acupuncture specifically for the veins, although I did have it done for the overall pain I had experienced in my leg, and it didn't do much for me.  I believe my friend who is an acupuncturist said something about bleeding varicose veins, but I can't be certain.  I had to get mine stripped and ablated.  Did it just before Thanksgiving of last year.  The truth is that I didn't realize it was the veins that were causing pain because I'd had them for 28 years and also have a bad hip and the two issues overlapped.

    The procedure was pretty mellow.  Local anesthesia, in and out pretty fast, wear a compression legging for a few weeks.  I'm happy with the results.  My leg looks so much better.  Only pin sized scars you have to really work to see.  95% of the pain has resolved, so much that I no longer take anything to help with the pain.  Only complaint is that my inner thigh from my groin to my knee, where the MD did the ablation, is still numb gets a little achey now and again, and it may be that way permanently.  Thankfully it doesn't really hurt that bad unless I put pressure on the area.  So, if acupuncture doesn't work, I recommend at least looking into the procedure.  It was worth it for me.  

    I have not tried acupuncture but I have had great success using Castor Seed Oil. I mix it with Shea Butter and apply to the areas of my leg that were in pain. The pain went significantly down overnight! Good Luck!

  • Spider veins treatment?

    (0 replies)

    I developed spider veins on my legs and I am looking for treatment recommendations. I heard laser is the best. Has anyone tried this and could you recommends a practitioner in or near Berkeley? How much did you pay per session? Does insurance cover these treatments (I am with Kaiser and the tretament would be considered cosmetic, I think)? Thanks!

    No responses received.

  • I am much too young to never again wear a swimsuit, but with these unsightly veins in my legs that may be the case. Can anyone here recommend a vein specialist who can treat varicose and spider veins? Or at the very least have information to impart regarding treatment options, cost, etc? I understand that insurance will not cover this treatment, so I am willing to pay out of pocket (well, I suppose, depending on the cost).

    Have you talked to your doctor and are you sure your varicose veins aren't covered?  Mine were.  Spider veins were not.  

    Michael D. Ingegno, M.D.13851 East 14th Street Suite 202 San Leandro, CA 94578

    I think he has two other offices in Alameda  and San Ramon as well  

    My MIL gets hers taken care of regularly and (I believe) she's gone to the same person for decades now. Call me if you like and I can put you two in touch.



Archived Q&A and Reviews

Surgeon to treat lumpy and painful varicose veins

Jan 2008

I am looking for a vascular surgeon to treat my lumpy and painful varicose veins. Any recommendations or advice/experience? Thank you! -No skirts for me

I have seen Dr.John Bry for few years. I have terrible varicose veins and never felt comfortable in shorts or skirts. He's managed to treat even my big veins w/injections. New veins will come up so I've had to go back a couple of times. His number is 832-6131. He's in Oakland over by Summit Hospital. anon

Vaginal varicose veins at 28 weeks

June 2004

I am 28 weeks pregnant (first pregnancy) and started getting painful varicose veings in my legs at 20 weeks. They literally cover the entire back of my right leg only. Now I have them on the right side of my pubic area and on the inside of my vagina (sorry this is so graphic and gross). They KILL!!! I am so worried that they will rupture when I am working out, or that that my OB will automatically make me have a c- section. Does anyone know anything about them? Do you think I should see a ''high risk'' OB-GYN? Do you know of any high risk OB's in the Berkeley/Oakland area? I feel so nervous about what is happening to my body!! I am fearful if I don't workout every day to keep my blood flowing that I will develop a clot. On the otherhand, I am fearful that I will rupture one of the veins by continuing to workout. Any advice is appreciated!!!! Thanks! Stephanie

Sorry to hear of your troubles...I oddly didn't have any veins pop out on my legs but had terribly painful, bulging vains on my vulva. My doc told me I'd be fine and I went on to have an easy 1.5 hour labor and vaginal delivery. I think the veins cleared up as soon as she was out!I am a school teacher so the doc thought it was my daily standing that led to the trouble in that area. I worked out doing prenatal water aerobics 2-3 times per week and prenatal yoga 1 day a week...Good luck to you! been there!

I can feel your pain! I developed the same thing in my first pregnancy, and it was extremely painful. I couldn't stand for more than a minute without agonizing pain. I had no idea what it was until the doctor delivering my son informed me. I am now pregant with my second and the same thing has happened again, but this time starting at month 2! Basically I have to wear maternity support underwear, granny pants as I call them. They do help a lot. Doesn't help the pain totally, but makes it bearable. I also developed vericose viens in my legs and now have to wear compression socks to help with that. I am also supposed to elevate my legs as much as possible, which is easier said then done when I am working full time and running after a four year old. My doctors tells me that this is very common in pregnancy and usually they will dissapate after pregnancy. Apparently the extra weight and size of the uterus hinders the blood flow to and from the lower extremities. (the from being the problem. Vericose viens are caused by pooling blood). The joys of pregnancy! If not though I will be visiting a vascular surgeon. Sorry to hear you are having a hard time and hopefully you can find some relief! Lisa

This happened to me in my second pregnancy. Before talking to my OB I was convinced it was going to rupture during delivery. I also felt a lot of discomfort particularly when standing up (sort of a blood rushing thing). My OB said it wasn't a big deal (although my situation was apparently particularly pronounced). And in fact it went away fairly quickly after delivery, actually I was quite amazed give how huge it was. The leg ones much less. Just my experience for your perspective. Anon

Horrible varicose veins in the 3rd trimester

March 2004

I'm just starting my third trimester with my second pregnancy and was hoping to get some more advice on how to minimize these horrible varicose veins that have cropped up in the past month or so. This didn't happen with my first (well, I got the annoying labia ones but at least those didn't show AND went away later) and I'm so frustrated b/c I'm told they're here to stay. I'm pretty fair skinned so they look just horrible and are starting to hurt as well. My doctor told me to get those support compression hosiery but with the warm weather (especially in Walnut Creek) I think that would drive me nuts. I'm thinking about getting some spandex leggings to wear under my pants to help support my legs. Any suggestions on how to deal/ prevent new ones would be most appreciated. And worse case scenario, has anyone had any luck getting rid of them later with injections/lasers? Thanks so much. Frustrated momma

I had horrible veins with my second pregnancy. Aside from being hideous, they really hurt. I was due in the summer, so l also was reluctant to wear support hose. Ultimately, I did, and they did make a difference. I would try it if I were you. And I wouldn't use just ''support hose'' from the store; I would get the compression hose. I don't think spandex leggings will do much for you. I had to go to my doctor and get a ''prescription'' so that they would be covered by my health insurance. They weren't the most comfortable things to wear when it got hot, but they weren't horrible either (better than the veins for me). Good luck! Elizabeth

Been There Done That! I had the same vein problems with my last pregnancy and I can't stress enough how much the stockings that the dr. has to measure you for and order that cost like $100 work and relieve that awful feeling associated with veins. I am a Kaiser patient and it wasn't until I had a woman midwife/practioner in Walnut Creek that I was granted the permission to get this as well as authorized the viens being removed post delivery!!! The other drs. I had were men and they wouldn't authorize it. I was in Kaiser Walnut Creek. So if you can talk your dr. into getting them removed later (with injections--which was no big deal at all) you are lucky...I think the key things to say are ''it really really hurts'' and te tell the truth I had to lie and say that I wasn't breast feeding b/c they think that if yoru hormones change then you may not have the veins any longer (which I knew they wouldn't cause I had them pre preg. but not as bad) So #1 Get the special stocking (ted stocking won't do) #2 Convince your dr. to have them removed later (injections are no big deal) #3 It feels and Looks GREAT to no longer have the Varicoise veins!!! No More Varicoise!

If you actually want to minimize varicose veins -- wear the support hose recommended by your doctor. While spandex is nifty and looks good, it will not supply nearly the pressure necessary. Leggings with that much support would probably be extremely uncomfortable, especially when you are pregnant.

Its my understanding that most varicose veins arrive in repeat pregnancies (not the first). You might want to ask your doctor for a lead on someone to zap them for you later. Heather

I would recommend the compression hose too. I'm in the 5th month of my first pregnancy and recently started getting them bad. I have to stand at work and my legs would ache. Got a pair at Cotton & Co. on College Ave for about $25 and what a difference! Not ''back to normal'' but much more comfortable (except the heat...) Liz