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 - Vein Treatments - Compression Stockings

Compression Stockings
 

Compression hose, also called compression stockings, are the typical non-invasive method prescribed for the management of varicose veins and spider veins. They provide support to the vein walls and help reduce and prevent venous reflux, meaning they aid in the prevention of blood flowing back into the veins. Keep reading to learn more about using compression stockings for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins.

compression_stockingAdditional non-invasive treatments include adopting lifestyle behaviors to promote vein health by improving blood flow and minimizing any pooling of blood inside the veins. It is recommended to avoid sitting and standing for long periods and avoid exposing the legs to heat. Elevating the legs while resting and engaging in regular aerobic activity are also a part of conservative varicose vein and spider vein treatment protocols. Vascular specialists refer to this method of managing varicose veins and spider veins as ESES (pronounced SS) which stands from exercise, stockings, elevation, and stillness.

Vascular specialists frequently prescribe the use of compression hose in conjunction with other non-invasive, conservative treatments for supporting vein health. The treatment protocol is termed ESES (pronounced SS) which stands from exercise, stockings, elevation, and stillness. Exercising stimulates blood flow in the legs, stockings provide support to the vein walls and reduce the chances of venous reflux, elevation allows gravity to assist in the return of blood to the heart, and stillness gives the legs time to rest.

Here is an brief summary of information regarding compression stockings. Consult a vein care specialist for specific advice regarding any treatment of your varicose and spider veins.


Compression Stockings: An Overview


How It Works:Medical compression stockings work by applying continuous graduated pressure to the veins in the lower legs. The pressure is greatest at the ankle and increases as the stocking moves up the leg. They are somewhat difficult to put on but are designed to roll onto the foot and leg. The pressure from the compression stocking provides support to the vein walls and helps promote healthy blood flow.

What It Treats: Compression stockings are prescribed as part of a conservative management protocol for both varicose veins and spider veins. When used alone they mainly provide relief from the painful symptoms of vein disease, however they are also prescribed to assist healing after other treatments for varicose and spider veins, as well as a number of other surgical procedures.

Pros: Non-surgical, non-invasive, simple to use

Cons: Not effective at actually removing varicose veins and spider veins when used alone.

Alternatives: Sclerotherapy, ablation, laser and light therapy, and phlebectomy are alternatives. The use of compression stockings following these procedures aids in healing.

Results: Effective at providing relief from symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins. Effective at supporting healing after other vein care procedures, however when used alone they will not remove or reduce vein disease.

Cost/Insurance: May be covered as a medical supply. Verify with your provider.

Consult Your Doctor: You should bring any documents necessary to give your doctor an accurate medical history, including recent illnesses and any allergies that you have. Make a list of the medications and supplements that you are currently taking as well as the symptoms that you are feeling. Write down any questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you. Make sure you understand your doctor's answers.

 
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