Advanced Treatment for Varicose and Spider Veins
Ugly, bulging veins. It’s something no woman wants to experience. But varicose veins, the enlarged blue, red or flesh colored veins that appear twisted on the leg are very common. In fact, and estimated 50 percent of women have some signs of varicose or spider veins. Most often these veins are found on the backs of the calves, thighs or inside the leg. Sometimes they can be swollen and even raised on the skin.
Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They’re close to the skin’s surface, and may look thin and wispy like spider webs or like tree branches. These veins are often red or blue and have short, jagged lines and can cover a small or very large area on the legs.
What’s the cause?Damaged or weak valves in the veins are to blame. The veins in your legs are responsible to carry blood throughout the body back to the heart, working against gravity to push blood up from the lower body. Veins have valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards as it travels up your legs. When the valves become weak, blood can leak back and pool in the legs.
Varicose veins and spider veins often run in families – and there may be a hereditary component. So why does it happen? There several factors that may contribute to the problem including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Aging, standing or working on your feet, obesity and leg injury may also lead to the condition.
Most varicose and spider veins appear because of pressure on the body – sometimes from extra body weight (like during pregnancy), making the job of carrying blood from the bottom of the body to the heart more difficult. The veins in a leg have the most difficult job and endure the most pressure. It’s very common for women to develop varicose veins during pregnancy. Changes in hormones and blood volume can cause veins to enlarge, in addition to the extra weight. Some women see improvement after delivery, but women who have multiple pregnancy may see veins that don’t go back to normal.
How do you treat bulging or spider veins?USA Special Procedures group specializes in all aspects of vein disease – from tiny spider veins to large bulging varicose veins. Our innovative, nonsurgical approach lets us treat the entire spectrum of venous disease. All procedures are performed by highly trained and experience board certified vascular surgeons. Our treatments include:
Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) – With EVLT, the surgeon uses small optic fiber inserted into the damaged vein, and a highly-concentrated beam of light is emitted through the fiber. The procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance, giving the surgeon a clear view of your veins, ensuring safety and accuracy. The tissue reacts with the light, causing the vein to close and seal shut. The blood automatically reroutes to healthier veins. Some people experience soreness or slight swelling, but it’s easily treated with over-the-counter pain medications and quickly subsides. This minimally invasive procedure only requires local anesthetic to numb the area where the physician is working. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately and can resume normal activities the same or next day.
Stab Phlebectomy – Also called ambulatory phlebectomy, this technique uses tiny incisions made over the problem veins, and then the vein is removed in small sections. These incisions are so small (usually less than half a centimeter) that they don’t generally require stitches to properly heal. Pads are used to absorb fluids, and a bandage is applied to the treated area.
Sclerotherapy - One option for treatment is sclerotherapy, a procedure that involves using a fine needle to inject a solution directly into the vein. This substance irritates the vein lining, causing the vein to swell and the blood to clot. This turns into scar tissue and generally fades away. Learn more about sclerotherapy here.
Radio Frequency Ablation – This minimally invasive varicose vein treatment uses radio frequency energy or electricity to heat, collapse and seal off specific blood vessels. It’s also a treatment for venous reflux disease, the root cause of varicose veins and tired, achy legs. Under ultrasound guidance, a thin catheter is inserted into the affected vein without incisions and delivers the energy directly to the vein wall. This causes the collagen in the vein wall to shrink and the vein to close. Blood automatically begins flowing through nearby veins. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed with local anesthesia. Most people see quick improvement in their symptoms, and are encouraged to walk but avoid intense physical activity for seven days.
What if it’s more than just unsightly veins?Varicose and spider veins aren’t pretty, but vein problems can also signal something more serious. That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment from advanced vein specialists who can treat the full range of conditions and possible underlying health problems. You should see a doctor for your varicose veins when:
- One of the veins begins to bleed
The skin on your calf or ankle changes color or becomes thick
- Your ankles are swollen at the end of the day
- Veins become red, swollen or are warm tender to the touch
You have a rash or sores on your leg or ankle
- You have
pain in the lower leg or ankle
Itching, numbness, tingling, cramping or burning occurs in the legs or feet
Leg cramps wake or keep you up at night, or you're diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome
- Symptoms are interfering with daily living or exercise
Every patient is unique, and so is every treatment plan. Your USA Vascular surgeon will tailor a treatment plan to your needs and condition, and it may include a combination of treatments to give you the best possible results. We want to improve your health and restore your active lifestyle. Call today to schedule a consultation at (423) 267-0466.