Varicose and Spider Veins

Published: .
Updated: .
Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. These veins usually develop in the legs and can be seen through the skin.

Spider veins are smaller than varicose veins and typically are red, purple and blue vessels that also twist and turn. Spider veins are easily visible through the skin and are most often seen in the legs, chest or face.

Risk Factors

Varicose Veins: heredity, pregnancy, occupation, obesity, age and trauma.

Spider Veins: Increased pressure on the leg veins, added pressure on the legs due to weight gain, increases in the amount of blood in the body, and various hormonal changes.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Many patients with varicose veins complain of pain, described as aching or cramping in the legs. Other common symptoms include tiredness, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling or heaviness in the legs.

In women, where varicose veins develop more often than men, symptoms may be worse during certain parts of their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. Patients may also develop swelling, ulcers (large sores), and an increase in the pigmentation or darkening of the color of their skin.


Radiofrequency VNUS® Closure®

A minimally invasive treatment alternative for patients with a condition known as superficial venous reflux – a condition that causes varicose veins and other painful symptoms. With a small catheter, radiofrequency (RF) energy is delivered into the vein wall, which causes the vein to heat, collapse and seal shut. Once the vein is sealed shut and blood can no longer feed the vein, the vein collapses and is reabsorbed into your system. VNUS Closure is safe, effective and long-lasting, and patients return to work in less than a week. Most insurance companies cover this procedure.

Laser/Light Therapy

Without needles or incisions, laser/light therapy treats spider veins, facial flushing and vascular birthmarks such as port wine stains, hemangiomas and rosacea. Laser/light therapy can also eliminate vascular lesions without damaging the surrounding skin.


Sclerotherapy is an injection treatment that eliminates spider veins and reticular veins. Several treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after treatment. All of the sclerotherapy procedures at VeinSolutions at St.Vincent are FDA approved, safe, effective and virtually pain-free.

VeinGogh™ Ohmic Thermolysis System

The VeinGogh™ system provides a superior solution for the treatment of fine telangiectasia, spider veins and small angiomas, especially recalcitrant vessels that have shown resistance to sclerotherapy, laser or IPL treatment. VeinGogh™ uses a hair-thin insulated probe to thermocoagulate and instantly eliminates vessels dependably, on any skin-type and on any part of the body.

For more information, go to