Varicose veins are enlarged or twisted veins caused by damaged valves that let blood flow backwards (a condition called reflux). Some varicose veins cause swelling, skin problems and ulcers (sores) and may need surgery to remove the damaged veins.
Health Quality Ontario Reviews Endovascular Ablation for Varicose Veins
Endovascular treatments are less invasive than surgery. They use radio waves and lasers to shrink or destroy the damaged part of the vein. These treatments can be done in clinics rather than hospitals and require less recovery time.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently reviewing this recommendation.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: A safe and effective surgical procedure for addressing symptomatic varicose veins and saphenous venous reflux is available and insured in Ontario. Endovascular laser treatment and radiofrequency ablation represent equally effective alternatives to this surgery, and are currently available only in private clinics in the community. The Ministry is considering whether pursuing funding and policy changes to publicly fund these new procedures is appropriate at this time given constrained fiscal resources.