Vein Disease, or venous insufficiency (VI), occurs when the veins in the body have difficulty transporting blood from the legs back to the heart, resulting in blood pooling. Common causes of VI include blood clots, varicose veins, spider veins, and genetic factors. Symptoms include pain (which often worsens upon standing), swelling, tightness, itchiness, weakness, and skin deformities around the legs and calves.
More commonly found on the legs than anywhere else on the body, varicose veins are easily recognized by their bluish-purple color and bulging, rope-like appearance that is visible just under the skin’s epidermis. Although they typically do not cause serious health problems, varicose veins can produce leg pain, swelling and burning sensations that may interfere with sleep and completing daily activities.
Treatment at Vein and Vascular Specialists for varicose veins consists of modern techniques such as radiofrequency ablation, ambulatory microphlebectomy or ClariVein®, All treatments are minimally invasive and performed in our office by an experienced vein specialist.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Veins that provide blood to the extremities contain valves that close to prevent blood from flowing back into the legs as blood circulates throughout the body. Due to a variety of factors, such as age, obesity, pregnancy, prolonged standing and inherited conditions, these vein valves sometimes fail to close properly, allowing blood to pool in veins. Pooling of blood further weakens vein walls and puts more pressure on valves until they fail to close altogether.
As veins distend and bulge due to pooling, fluid may leak outside impaired veins and produce swelling of the feet and ankles. The blue or purple color indicative of varicose veins is the result of deoxygenated (blood that never reaches the heart) accumulating in veins.
Painful varicose veins can be treated with a number of safe and effective options at Vein & Vascular Specialists. Only professional vein specialists can diagnose the severity of vein disease and make informed recommendations regarding treatment options.
Smaller than varicose veins, spider veins, also called telangiectasias, are more threadlike in appearance and do not protrude above the skin. In addition to affecting legs, spider veins are commonly found on the face, as well, and can be blue, purple or red in color. Arising from the same causes as varicose veins, spider veins are actually deteriorating capillaries that are fed by reticular, or feeder, veins.
Cause of Spider Veins
Having a genetic predisposition for suffering from spider veins is the most common reason for their appearance. Excessive exposure to sunlight, obesity or traumatic injury may also cause spider veins. Women who take medications containing progesterone or estrogen (birth control pills, for example) or women going through menopause may also notice spider veins appearing on their faces and legs due to significant hormonal changes.
Spider Vein Treatment at Vein & Vascular Specialists
Determining what kind of spider vein treatment would best suit your needs requires a thorough examination by a qualified vein specialist who will clinically assess the extent of your vein disease. Spider vein treatments include sclerotherapy, a surface (nonsurgical) laser treatment. Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical solution directly into the spider vein that forces the vein to collapse, disintegrate and eventually be absorbed by the body.
If underlying venous disease is present, other vein treatments may need to be implemented to fully address the condition.
After treatment, spider veins may reappear in time, but this is usually the result of new spider veins developing in neighboring capillaries. If this occurs, additional spider vein treatments may be necessary.