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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Veins - Varicose Veins - Vein Problems

Vein Problems
 

The two most common types of vein problems are varicose veins and spider veins. Both types of vein problems are generally harmless, however in some individuals they may result from an underlying medical problem called chronic venous insufficiency. Gender, age, heredity, and lifestyle factors can also contribute the development and prevalence of both varicose veins and spider veins. Continue reading to learn about the various causes, signs, symptoms and complications of varicose veins and spider veins, as well as other less common vein problems.

Varicose veins affect 15 percent of men and 25 percent of women in the United States. They occur most frequently in the legs due to pressure from standing and walking, but any vein in the body can become varicose. In healthy veins, the muscles surrounding the vein support the vein in returning blood to the heart. This process requires the veins to work against gravity. The veins contain internal valves that prevent against reverse blood flow. For reasons that are not fully understood these internal valves can become defective or damaged. When this happens the valve allows blood to flow backwards back into the vein, and swelling results as the vein becomes engorged with excess blood. Varicose veins usually have a purple or blue appearance and look like they are bulging out from the body.

Common signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:

  1. Heavy feeling in the legs 
  2. Aching legs, especially in the evening and after exercising 
  3. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) 
  4. Swollen ankles 
  5. Discoloration of skin around the ankles 
  6. Discoloration of skin surface surrounding problem vein areas 
  7. Cramping in the legs and ankles 
  8. Increased healing time of bruising and minor injuries
  9. Skin problems on the legs 
  10. Development of spider veins


For the majority of sufferers, varicose veins are an unsightly and unpleasant, but relatively benign, part of life. Some people have difficulty walking and standing for long periods of time, which can make working difficult. Tenderness near the afflicted vein or veins is also somewhat common. While the varicose veins themselves don't cause extensive problems, they can lead to a variety of troublesome side-effects including a predisposition to skin loss due to dermatitis and other rashes, skin ulcers, severe bleeding, and fat necrosis. Issues with blood clotting are another side-effect of varicose veins. They are not very common and typically occur within superficial veins. However, clotting can be dangerous and even life-threatening if not treated properly, especially when it occurs in deep varicose veins.

Varicose Veins occur more often in women than men, and the chances of a vein becoming varicose increases with age. The main risk factor for developing varicose veins is a genetic predisposition. Other factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins include pregnancy, obesity, prolonged standing, leg injuries, frequent crossing of the legs at the knees or ankles, and abdominal straining.

Spider veins refer to small blood vessels located near the surface of the skin and mucous membranes. The blood vessels become dilated and can easily be seen through the skin. The veins usually have a red or purple appearance and look like spider webs or tree branches. On the legs, spider veins usually form in the thigh area, around the knees, and near the ankles. Spider veins are quite commonly found on the nose, cheeks, and chin as well. The scientific term for spider veins is telangiectasia.

Spider veins are easily identifiable because of their proximity to the skin's surface. As a general rule spider veins are relatively harmless and do not cause pain or other ill effects, however the presence of spider veins in the legs may be an indicator of varicose vein problems. The spider veins develop due to abnormal blood flow patterns in medium size leg veins, in other words, veins that have become varicose.

Similar to to varicose veins, spider veins have a hereditary component. Other risk factors for developing spider veins are age, obesity, lifestyle factors, and pregnancy. These factors are specifically related to spider veins in the legs.

Sometimes spider veins form on the face and trunk. In these cases the development of the spider veins is not related to age, weight and lifestyle. Skin damage due to acne rosacea, sun or cold, trauma from injury or surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, carcinoid syndrome, CREST syndrome, and chronic use of corticosteroids applied topically can contribute to the development of spider veins in areas other than the legs.

Although varicose veins and spider veins are the most common, other vein problems do occur as well. Venous ulcers, also known as stasis ulcers and varicose ulcers, are flesh wounds that can form due to improper circulation and varicose vein problems. The primary concern with varicose ulcers is the chance of infection due to the presence of an open wound.

Deep venous thrombosis, also known as deep vein thrombosis and DVT is the formation of blood clots in a deep vein. The primary concern with deep vein thrombosis is the risk of blood clots becoming dislodged from a deep leg or pelvic vein and traveling to the lungs, heart, or brain.In the majority of cases spider veins and varicose veins do not result in serious health complications, however it is important to consult with a vein care professional to discuss the best care and treatments for your varicose veins and spider veins.

Treatment of varicose veins and spider veins varies depending on the severity and location of the problem veins. There are a variety of treatment options available including non-invasive, non-surgical, and surgical methods of treatment. In many cases treatment of varicose veins and spider veins is not covered by insurance because it is considered a cosmetic procedure, however if there is a documented history of medical problems and pain resulting from the vein problems, treatment may be covered. This issue is one to discuss with your doctor and health care provider. Regardless of insurance, your 1-800-VEIN-DOC vein care professional can advise you on the proper course of action for your vein health.


 
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