Venous Pathology

Information & Treatment of Varicose & Spider Veins

Spider Veins and Varicose Veins

SPIDER VEINS


WHAT ARE SPIDER VEINS?

Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller. They are often red or blue and are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. They can look like tree branches or spider webs with their short jagged lines. Spider veins can be found on the legs and face. They can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.

HOW ARE THEY DIAGNOSED?

Patients should consult a doctor as soon as they start experiencing discomfort or pain in their feet and legs so that the condition can be properly diagnosed. The doctor may order x-rays or even sonography (vascular ultrasound). This will help the physician to find out if there is any circulation problem because of blocked veins. This is because many a time veins are responsible for causing circulation problems that lead to discomfort and pain and development of serious problems like varicose veins.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF SPIDER VEINS?

Patients start experiencing such discomforts as a feeling of cramping or pain in their feet and legs even before the appearance of spider veins. The patient can exercise some control over the pain by putting his/her feet up so that the pressure reduces. Pain is a symptom that indicates the beginning of vein diseases. Some patients may experience restlessness in the legs, whereas some others may have a burning sensation and heaviness. Typically, the symptoms get relieved when patients put their legs up for a long period of time.

Other varicose vein symptoms that may require immediate consultation include: Aching pain, Easily tired legs, Leg heaviness, Swelling in the legs, Darkening of the skin (in severe cases), Numbness in the legs, Itching or irritated rashes on the legs.

VARICOSE VEINS


WHAT CAUSES SPIDER & VARICOSE VEINS?

The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body. Arteries carry blood from the heart towards the body parts. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the heart. The squeezing of leg muscles pumps blood back to the heart from the lower body. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps. These valves prevent the blood from flowing backwards as it moves up the legs. If the one-way valves become weak, blood can leak back into the vein and collect there. This problem is called venous insufficiency. Pooled blood enlarges the vein and it becomes varicose. Spider veins can also be caused by the backup of blood. Hormone changes, inherited factors, and exposure to the sun can also cause spider veins.Varicose veins are a very common problem these days, as it affects approximately one in three women and one in five men aged 20 or older. Varicose veins affect 1 out of 2 people age 50 and older.

When the vein valves fail to function properly, the veins become enlarged and the blood flow to and from the heart is impaired. The blood simply flows backwards to the legs instead of going up to the heart, and this is sometimes caused by standing up too long.

WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be flesh colored, dark purple or blue. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They are swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veinsare commonly found on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. During pregnancy, varicose veins called hemorrhoids can form in the vagina or around the anus.

WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEIN SYMPTOMS?

The most notable symptoms are visible ones, as the veins quickly turn blue or dark purple – they also appear swollen and twisted, and they are often accompanied by pain and leg cramps. Also, it is not uncommon for some people to experience some swelling in their feet or ankles.

If left untreated, the varicose veins can worsen and they can cause severe swelling, muscle cramping or a burning sensation in the feet. The pain usually worsens when you stand up or down for too long and in some causes, the condition can be followed by severe bleeding, open sores or leg ulcers.

Treatment of Spider & Varicose Veins

Sclerotherapy: Commonly used to reduce the appearance of surface veins, sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients who want to improve the look of their skin, while relieving common symptoms associated with varicose / spider veins, including aching, burning, and swelling. As a preferred vein treatment method used by doctors nation-wide, sclerotherapy has successfully eliminated the unsightly appearance of varicose veins in 95% of patient cases.

The number of sclerotherapy treatment sessions required to achieve optimal cosmetic results will vary, and is dependent on the severity of each individual case. On average, most patients are recommended to receive 2 to 6 treatment sessions that last 15 to 20 minutes each. While individual veins can clear after one treatment, multiple sclerotherapy sessions are often required to achieve visually appealing, permanent results.

Sclerotherapy is a simple in-office treatment that involves direct injection of varicose veins and spider veins with a sclerosing agent that – once inside the vein walls – will cause enough irritation to force them to collapse and fade from view. Most patients receive anywhere from 5 to 40 injections per treatment depending on the severity of their condition, and report little to no pain or discomfort during the procedure.

Surgery: Surgery is used mostly to treat very large varicose veins. Types of surgery for varicose veins include Surgical Ligation and Stripping – With this treatment, problematic veins are tied shut and completely removed from the leg. Removing the veins does not affect the circulation of blood in the leg. Veins deeper in the leg take care of the larger volumes of blood. Most varicose veins removed by surgery are surface veins and collect blood only from the skin. This surgery requires either local or general anesthesia and must be done in an operating room on an outpatient basis.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy: With this surgery, a special light source marks the location of the vein. Tiny cuts are made in the skin, and surgical hooks pull the vein out of the leg. This surgery requires local or regional anesthesia. The vein usually is removed in one treatment. Very large varicose veins can be removed with this treatment while leaving only very small scars. Patients can return to normal activity the day after treatment.

Possible Side Effects: • Slight bruising • Temporary numbness Endoscopic vein surgery With this surgery, a small video camera is used to see inside the veins. Then varicose veins are removed through small cuts. People who have this surgery must have some kind of anesthesia including epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia. Patients can return to normal activity within a few weeks.

Can varicose and spider veins return even after treatment? Current treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop. The major reason for this is that there is no cure for weak vein valves. So with time, pressure gradually builds up in the leg veins. Ultrasound can be used to keep track of how badly the valves are leaking (venous insufficiency). Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control.The single most important thing a person can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear graduated compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.

Prevention of varicose and spider veins: Wear Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength, such as walking or running. Control your weight. Wear elastic support stockings and avoid tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin, or legs.

VIEW HOW THE VEINLITE WORKS

VIEW HOW EVLT WORKS

Laser treatment of Varicose Veins (EVLT)

Endo-venous Laser Treatment – or EVLT – is a fast, safe, and effective method of treatment for patients suffering from vein reflux disease. Varicose veins and related symptoms affect nearly 25% of all women and 18% of all men. While painful vein stripping surgery used to be the only option for removing unattractive veins, EVLT has become the new norm in vein reflux disease treatment.

Developed by leading phlebologists, EVLT is a virtually painless procedure that can be completed in-office in less than 1 hour, and requires very little patient recovery time. There is minimal postoperative pain and virtually no scaring – leaving patients with immediate relief of both internal and external vein reflux disease symptoms.

The EVLT procedure uses duplex ultrasound technology to map out the positioning of the saphenous vein. After applying a local anesthetic, a catheter is placed inside the vein and positioned near the groin. A laser fiber is then threaded through the catheter, and when activated emits targeted radial energy that gently close the vein walls from the inside – causing branch veins to shrink and lose their unattractive appearance. After the procedure, patients are required to wear a compression bandage during the day, and a walk a minimum of 10 minutes three times per day for 2 weeks.

To learn more about EVLT and how it can help you resume a normal, healthy lifestyle, contact us today.