Giving Varicose Veins The Hook

If you suffer from varicose veins, you're about to gain a new appreciation for crochet hooks-size 7, to be exact.

Developed at UCLA, light-assisted stab phlebectomy may sound like a complicated method of varicose vein removal, but it relies on a simple invention that has been around since the 1700s. After the veins have been plumped with saline and an anesthetic blend, a modified size-7 crochet hook is passed through a tiny incision. The hook pulls the veins through the skin for assessment, and they are gently removed with a tiny clasp.

This experimental treatment is conscious and suture-less, leaving scars about the size of freckles. While it is not yet widely available, procedure innovator Dr. Peter Lawrence believes "LASP will provide surgeons with an additional tool to be used to treat varicose veins. With more options, we can better target individual treatment."