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.
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.
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.
Venous Duplex Imaging
This ultrasound technology allows specialists to look inside a vein to determine the exact anatomy and direction of blood flow. It is especially useful for assessing abnormal valves. Our ultrasound labs are ICAVL (The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories) approved.
For more information, go to stvincent.org/VeinSolutions.