Spider and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. These are branches off one the five veins that drain the surface of the leg.  One of ten varicose veins are visible, on the surface and can be treated with micro-ambulatory phlebectomy.  Most are hidden deeper in the fat between the skin and muscle.  These are easily treated with laser of the incompetant vein they branch from and ultrasound guided injection of the varicose vein itself.  These hidden varicose veins cause aching, pain, tiredness and ’heavy legs’. Most varicose veins are hidden and these patient usually do not realize their pain is from varicose vein.
Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that also twist and turn.  Red spider veins are normal capillaries the became dilated about 20 times normal.  Blue and purple vein (called ‘reticular veins) are 50 to 100 times normal size.  Nothing new ‘grew’, these veins simply dilated.  Patients had all of these veins when a child; failed vein valves and the resulting increase in venous pressure simply caused these microscopic capillaries to progressively dilate and become visible.
Causes of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

A number of factors predispose a person to varicose veins and spider veins. These include:

Heredity 80%.
Occupations that involve a lot of standing, such as grocery clerks,nurses, hair stylists, teachers, chefs, and factory workers.
Pregnancy (hormones of pregnancy weaken the valves).
Conditions that cause increased pressure in the abdomen including tumors, constipation, and externally worn garments like girdles.

Some extreme sports seem to cause increased incidence of vein valve failure.

Varicose veins and spider veins develop more often in women than in men. They increase in frequency with age. An estimated 50% of adults over 50 years of age have varicose veins or spider veins.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins 

Many patients with varicose veins complain of pain, described as an aching or cramping in the legs. Other common symptoms include tiredness, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in the legs. Pain caused by varicose veins is usually relieved by elevating the legs or by wearing support hose.  Most varicose veins are hidden.   Patients are often unaware that their symptoms are caused by varicose veins.

Occasionally, varicose veins can form a painful blood clot with inflammation of the vein called ‘superficial thrombophlebitis’. The incidence of associated, dangerous (source of pulmonary emboli) deep veins clots is increased 400%.  Varicose veins should be treated.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

We perfom the  micro-Ambulatory Phlebectomy.  This is a simple, painless, extaordinarily effective, 20 minute office procedure. The skin is numbed over the vein.  A needle hole is placed every half inch.  With a small instrument, through the needle hole, the vein is gently (painlessly) interrupted. The patient returns to normal activity.  When the patient removes the bandage in 3 days the vein is gone!

Treatment of Spider Veins

We use sclerotherapy with new Asclera. And, for the tiniest veins, may use a VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System.  First we do an ultrasound and treat vein failure, if found, above these veins.  With the source of pressure from above removed, we have much better treatment results than most clinics, spas and beauty parlors.  We first treat the source of pressure that has dilated these veins.  This helps prevent matting (looks like permanent bruises) and staining of the skin that are complications of sclerotherapy when done without addressing the venous hypertension. Generally, we do three treatments on each leg (at Month 0, Month 2 and Month 4) and then wait for 4 months to observe results.