We want to make sure you have the answers you need about varicose vein and spider vein issues. Below are questions we often receive. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact us at (803) 253-8667.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, weakened, dilated veins that no longer carry blood from the legs back up to the heart effectively. As a result, blood and pressure in the legs (venous hypertension) build up from gravity.
Varicose veins commonly cause symptoms in the legs including:
These symptoms are usually worse at the end of the day but improve with rest or by elevating your legs. Effective treatment of these diseased veins usually eliminates the symptoms.
If left untreated, varicose veins always worsen and may lead to major complications, such as:
- Bleeding from varicose veins
- Skin inflammation
- Venous ulcerations
To prevent long-term complications, don’t ignore varicose veins and symptoms of venous hypertension.
What causes varicose veins?
Several factors contribute to varicose veins. The most important is a family history of vein problems. A genetic tendency causes veins to weaken and wear out over time.
Other contributing factors include:
- Pregnancy – Women who have had children are more likely to develop varicose veins than women who have not. The chance of having varicose veins and the severity increases with the number of pregnancies.
- Previous blood clots
In most cases, you can’t do anything to prevent varicose veins, but if you receive effective treatment early enough, complications such as blood clots and ulcers may be prevented and symptoms can be relieved.
How are varicose veins treated?
Technological advances and physician expertise have revolutionized venous disease treatment. Most new treatments are:
- Non-invasive or minimally invasive
- Performed in the office under local anesthesia with immediate recovery and no down-time for patients
Ultrasound plays a critical role in diagnosing the problem so your physician can customize treatment just for you.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are abnormally dilated blood vessels in the skin. They usually appear on the legs but can also occur on the face, chest, arms, and back.
Spider veins can cause symptoms of itching, burning, heaviness, and fatigue.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins may be caused by larger diseased veins underneath the skin. Dr. Reynolds may use ultrasound to search for any hidden diseased veins. If larger diseased veins are found, they need to be treated first or spider vein treatment will be ineffective.
Contrary to what many people believe, spider veins are not caused by crossing one’s legs.
How are spider veins treated?
Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. A pharmaceutical called a sclerosant is injected into the abnormal veins causing them to shrink and disappear. Blood is rerouted to nearby healthy veins.
After treatment, spider veins may become inflamed, and more prominent than they were before. This resolves with time as the body absorbs the veins.