Varicose Veins are enlarged, often twisty veins that bulge from the surface of the skin. Most commonly on the legs & thighs.
Spider Veins are smaller, web-like collections of veins. They can be varying shades of red or blue. Although mostly isolated abnormalities, they can also be the “tip of the iceberg” of significant underlying venous disease.
What causes Varicose Veins & Spider Veins?
Frequently, issues in larger, deeper veins, which live unseen beneath the surface, can be the root cause of surface abnormalities.
The “job” of leg veins is to help channel flow back up to the heart. Since they have to work against gravity, leg muscles are used to “pump” the flow upward. This flow is kept moving in a one-way, upward direction by means of venous valves.
Valve malfunction can lead to wrong-way, downward flow or Reflux. Chronic reflux stretches veins living at the surface often to the point of bulging. Chronic reflux can also lead to chronic leg symptoms. Symptoms are often worse after prolonged standing/sitting.
What are some common symptoms of chronic venous disease?
Chronic red/brown discoloration, mainly at the lower legs
How common are Varicose & Spider Veins?
Extremely! About half of men and women in the US will have some form of venous disease in their lifetime.
What are risk factors for developing Varicose & Spider Veins?
Genetics: If one/both parents have significant vein disease, you are more likely to develop superficial venous issues. Vein disease affects both Men & Women.
Pregnancies: Each pregnancy can increase the risk of developing worsening vein issues due to extra pressure on vein valves and increased stretching of veins.
Other factors, such as increasing age, obesity and lack of exercise can also play a role.
What are some of the treatments for Varicose & Spider veins? Is surgery required?
No, surgery is no longer the mainstay of superficial vein treatments. State-of-the-art care of underlying significant, superficial vein disease includes minimally-invasive procedures such as Endovenous Laser Ablation, Clarivein® and VenaSeal® procedures.
Varicose and Spider veins are safely, comfortably and effectively dealt with using sclerotherapy or surface lasers.
How do I know which treatments are right for me?
The way to tailor a treatment option that is optimized for your particular issues is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. David Rosen, MD. Dr. Rosen is certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine and is an expert at diagnosing and treating chronic superficial vein disease.
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