Varicose & Spider Veins: A Troublesome, But Treatable Condition

Varicose Veins


Acquire relief from varicose and spider veins

One of the more recognized conditions associated with vascular health, primarily for their familiar name and lookalike name, are spider and varicose veins. Most commonly known for their deep, colored appearance across the legs and feet, over 80 million Americans currently suffer from either varicose or spider veins – 23% of the population. It’s important to know, however, that any vein in the body can become varicose.

Varicose veins, the large, knotted, are caused by the pressure put on the veins in the lower body by standing and walking upright, while spider veins are a milder variation of varicose veins. When pressure is put upon the vein, the cupped valves holding the walls of a vein together push apart, causing improper blood flow and potential blood clotting. Other factors that could increase the risk of developing varicose or spider veins include a family history of varicose veins, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, or a history of deep vein thrombosis, to name a few.

In order to properly diagnose varicose and spider veins in the leg, a physician must first determine the color and texture of prominent veins through a physical examination, finding how they will fill with blood. Often times, patients will report legs feeling tired, achy or restless, or describe rashes or sores on the legs – these symptoms can help to identify varicose or spider veins.

Varicose veins, for some, can be purely a cosmetic issue, while others’ can cause throbbing pain or discomfort, and sometimes lead to more serious problems, signaling a higher risk of other circulatory problems.

Though varicose and spider veins may be discouraging and an unfortunate vascular condition to have, fear not: Treatment options for varicose and spider veins are readily available.

·      Sclerotherapy – Quickly able to be performed by either a physician or well-trained nurse in the outpatient clinic, sclerotherapy is a procedure where a chemical irritant is injected into the affected veins, causing the vein to scar from the inside out. As a result, the varicose/spider veins will absorb into the body, no longer filling with blood.

·      Vein stripping – With a pair of small incisions into the groin and below the knee (under general or local anaesthetic), this procedure entails tying the diseased varicose vein, then removing it from the leg, typically the great saphenous vein.

·      Microphelbectomy – In this procedure, very small incisions are made in the leg to remove varicose veins – with no stitches needed – performed under local anesthetic in less than an hour in the outpatient clinic. This procedure is minimally painful, with patients experiencing relief from the painful varicose veins causing them initial discomfort, as well as improves cosmetic appearance.

·      Laser Venous Ablation – A catheter is inserted into a vein in the leg during this procedure, heating the walls of the veins, destroying them, completely closing off it off. Performed in an outpatient clinical setting, the patient will be on their feet, performing normal activities the following day.

·      Compression stockings – Used over the course of several months on a daily basis, often times, patients are prescribed these elastic stockings in order prevent excess blood from flowing backward through the valve. For milder symptoms, stockings are worn during the day and used to squeeze the veins, improving circulation in the legs.