Veins, Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, Vein Treatments

Veins are the component of the circulatory system responsible for carrying blood to the heart. Varicose veins and spider veins are common vein problems, usually stemming from an underlying medical condition known as venous insufficiency. Spider vein and varicose vein problems vary depending on the location, type, and severity. There are a number of vein treatments for individuals with varicose vein and spider vein symptoms; consulting a vein care professional is the best way to learn about the options available for your vein problems.

Vein Problems, What are Varicose Veins, Causes of Varicose Veins, What are Spider Veins, Causes of Spider Veins, Risk Factors of Varicose VeinsSymptoms of Varicose Veins, Preventing Vein Problems, Varicose Veins & Pregnancy, Treating Vein Problems, Compression Stockings, SclerotherapyMicro Sclerotherapy, Ultrasound Sclerotherapy, Foam Sclerotherapy, Endovenous Ablation, Laser Endovenous Ablation, Radiofrequency Endovenous Ablation, Laser Therapy, Intense Pulsed Light, Phlebectomy, Microphlebectomy, Ambulatory Phlebectomy, Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy, Surgical Vein Treatments, Vein Stripping and Ligation, Deep Venous Pharmacomechanical Thrombosis

Vein Problems

The two most common types of vein problems are varicose veins and spider veins. Both types of vein problems usually result from an underlying medical problem called venous insufficiency. Gender, age, heredity, and lifestyle factors can also contribute the development and prevalence of both varicose veins and spider veins. Information about the various causes, signs, symptoms and complications of varicose veins and spider veins, as well as a description of other less common vein problems can be found here.

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What Are Varicose Veins

varicoseVaricose veins are veins that have become engorged and swollen. They are one of the most common health problems, especially for women and for people over fifty years old.

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Causes of Varicose Veins

varicose_causesVaricose veins are caused by the failure of the internal valves to prevent reverse blood flow back into the vein. The return of blood into the vein causes an imbalance to develop in the pressure between veins and arteries. The veins become enlarged and engorged with blood and they protrude from the skin with a bulgy appearance.

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What Are Spider Veins?

spider_veinsSpider veins, which are also called telangiectasias, are tiny visible blood vessels or broken capillaries just under the skin.

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Causes of Spider Veins

Spider veins are caused when small blood vessels located near the skin's surface become dilated. The veins take on a red or purple hue and look like spider webs or tree branches.

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Risk Factors of Varicose Veins

The primary risk factor for developing varicose veins is genetics, however other lifestyle factors can influence the formation of varicose veins as well.

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Symptoms of Varicose Veins

For the majority of sufferers, varicose veins are an unsightly and unpleasant, but relatively benign part of life. They are most identifiable by their appearance.

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Preventing Vein Problems

There are many simple steps to take towards minimizing the risk of developing spider veins and varicose veins. Although there is a big genetic component, the risk factors for these vein problems are lifestyle factors which can be altered to decrease risks. Here are some simple ideas for reducing your risk of varicose veins and spider veins.

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Varicose Veins & Pregnancy

The added weight and strain of pregnancy on the circulatory system raises the chance of veins becoming varicose. Pregnancy is often the first time that women begin to experience varicose veins.

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Treating Vein Problems

Treatment of varicose veins and spider veins varies greatly depending on the severity and location of the problem veins. There are a variety of non-invasive, non-surgical, and surgical methods for treating varicose veins and spider veins.

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Compression Stockings

compression_stockingCompression stockings are a commonly used non-invasive treatment for the symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins. They provide relief from the pain and help support the affected veins. They are also used in conjunction with, and while recovering from, other treatments of varicose veins and spider veins.

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Sclerotherapy

sclerotherapySclerotherapy is considered the “gold standard” in treating spider veins and small to medium sized varicose veins. The procedure involves the injection of a sclerosing solution into the targeted veins, which eventually swell shut and heal into scar tissue.

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Micro Sclerotherapy

Micro Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. The procedure involves the injection of a sclerosing solution into the targeted veins, which eventually swell shut and heal into scar tissue.

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Ultrasound Sclerotherapy

Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is a newer sclerotherapy technique that is useful in treating varicose veins that are not able to be addressed with tradition sclerotherapy procedures.

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Foam Sclerotherapy

 Foam Sclerotherapy treats spider veins and varicose veins by injecting a sclerosing foam agent  into the targeted veins, which eventually swell shut and heal into scar tissue.

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Endovenous Ablation

Endovenous_Laser_AblationEndovenous ablation treats varicose veins by using heat to ablate, meaning remove, the troublesome veins. In this minimally invasive procedure the problem varicose veins are exposed to heat which causes them to shrink, collapse, and eventually heal into scar tissue.

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Laser Endovenous Ablation

 Laser endovenous ablation treats varicose veins by using heat from a laser beam to ablate, meaning remove, the troublesome veins.

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Radiofrequency Endovenous Ablation

radiofrequency_ablationRadiofrequency endovenous ablation treats varicose veins by using heat from sound waves to ablate, meaning remove, the troublesome veins.

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Laser Therapy

Laser therapy treats spider veins and small surface varicose veins by exposing them to heat through the skin's surface. The heat does not damage the skin but causes the walls of the vein to shrink, collapse, and eventually heal into scar tissue

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Intense Pulsed Light

intense_pulse_lightIntense pulsed light treats spider veins and small surface varicose veins by exposing them to heat through the skin's surface. The heat does not damage the skin but causes the walls of the vein to shrink, collapse, and eventually heal into scar tissue.

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Phlebectomy

PhlebectomyPhlebectomy is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthetic that treats superficial varicose veins by removing them from the body with a special tool.

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Microphlebectomy

Microphlebectomy is a surgical procedure in which a special hook is used to remove select portions of surface varicose veins.

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Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory phlebectomy is a surgical procedure in which a special hook is used to remove surface varicose veins.

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Transilluminated Powered Phlebectomy

Transilluminated powered phlebectomy is a surgical procedure in which a special phlebectomy device is used to remove surface varicose veins. The procedure was developed as an alternative to using a phlebectomy hook.

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Surgical Vein Treatments

Surgical treatments are sometimes required to effectively remove serious varicose veins as well as to reduce the risk of serious side effects resulting from chronic vein disease.

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Vein Stripping and Ligation

p_strippingandligation_lrgVein Stripping and vein ligation involve the surgical excision of large varicose veins. The procedures are performed under general anesthesia.

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Deep Venous Pharmacomechanical Thrombosis

Deep venous pharmacomechanical thrombosis is used to treat and remove clots that have formed in deep varicose veins. The procedure is used to address concerns about blood clots breaking away and moving to the lungs, heart, or brain.

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Golden Cure for Varicose Veins

Just 10 years ago, patients with varicose veins had those veins ripped out of their bodies with metal piping. While modern technology has moved on to less-invasive techniques, pain has still been an issue. Now, a little precious metal is making a big difference for the 40 percent of women dealing with this problem. “You’re just, legs just feel like they get tired and heavy, and you just want to sit down and put them up,” Christie Cooper, who suffered from varicose veins, told Ivanhoe. Turns out, her varicose veins were making daily life impossible. “They had progressively gotten bigger and bigger throughout the years, so it was really time to start thinking about taking them out,” Cooper explained. Dr. Alan Wladis from the Vascular Institute of Central Florida had the answer. A new gold-tipped laser fiber called VenaCure EVLT fiber, eradicates the vein with little risk or pain for patients. "It’s the misery of going through the day with 10 pound weights on their legs is what people complain about,” Dr. Wladis said. You can see the heated tip route up the leg with ultrasound guidance as it burns out the vein. While the older, bare fiber tip cuts the vein, the gold tip coagulates it. The new method also offers less concentrated heat. That means less risk of puncturing the vein and less pain, too. Overall, it is 98 percent effective. “They’re up, walking out of your office, and they’re back to their normal work in a day, four days at the most,” Dr. Wladis said. “It's been a really good thing, and [I’m] much more comfortable at the end of the day,” Cooper said. Now, she’s back to moving and working like her old self. Early studies on this new technology show it also results in less bruising for patients. In addition, the procedure is outpatient-based, lasts just one hour, and is normally covered by insurance.



Research Summary


Background: Swollen veins that bulge above the surface of the skin in a twisted fashion, and are usually a dark blue or purple color are known as varicose veins. The swelling is the results of faulty valves in the veins that allow blood to flow to the heart; the valves stop working, and blood accumulates, stretching and widening the veins. Varicose veins usually develop on the back of the calves, or thighs of women, but men are also susceptible. Heredity, age, weight, and hormonal changes are common examples of why an individual might develop varicose veins. Some individuals may experience aching, burning, heaviness, tiredness, cramps and itching in the legs, and in others, there may not be any pain at all. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)
The Golden Cure: One of the newest ways of getting rid of varicose veins is through the use of a laser beaming fiber with a golden tip. The tiny fiber is inserted into the problematic vein, and the golden tip works in two ways: it acts as a buffer between the fiber and the vein to reduce any chance of perforation, and it increases the tips visibility under the ultrasound. The entire laser is covered with a thin layer of glass tubing to ensure less concentrated heat, and a minimal chance of cutting the vein. The laser burns the vein, causing it to collapse, and the unsightly appearance to vanish. Clinical trials have shown that this type of laser reduces pain and bruising on patients. (SOURCE: www.healthnews.org)
Treating Varicose Veins: Surgical treatment for varicose veins is less invasive, and generally done on an outpatient basis. If you can’t make it to see the doctor any time soon, some helpful suggestions for increasing blood circulation, and decreasing the pain caused by varicose veins are: (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com)


  • Exercise by walking more
  • Take several short breaks to elevate your legs throughout the day
  • Avoid wearing heels, and tight clothing or undergarments
  • Watch your weight and your diet
  • Avoid long periods of sitting and standing
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed.
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