An estimated 45-60% of adults have Varicose Veins or Spider Veins. Varicose and Spider Veins develop more often in women than men, and increase in frequency with age.
Visible veins remind us that we’re alive and pumping oxygen-rich blood through our system, but certain types – particularly enlarged Varicose Veins – usually announce themselves as bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin. Blood flows the wrong direction in these veins: rather than getting pumped back to the heart, blood pools in the veins, making them rope-like and bulky, causing them to push up to the surface of the skin. They almost always affect legs and feet, can be painful, disfiguring and can lead to more-serious problems. Spider Veins – are usually small and twisted veins, sometimes surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries – they don’t pose the same health risks as varicose veins and are more easily treated.
Treatment Options: Sclerotherapy - In this procedure, your doctor injects the veins with a solution that scars and closes those veins, causing the blood to reroute through healthier veins. In a few weeks, treated spider veins fade. Although the same vein may need to be injected more than once, sclerotherapy is usually effective if done correctly.
Sclerotherapy doesn’t require anesthesia and can be done in your doctor’s office. Side effects include swelling, itching and skin color changes in the treated area.
Laser surgery - Laser surgery works by sending strong bursts of light into the vein that make the vein slowly fade and disappear. No incisions or needles are used. The treatment is often less effective than sclerotherapy, particularly for larger veins. Side effects may include redness, bruising, itching, swelling and permanent skin tone changes.
The most important thing you should learn about your venous condition is that it’s treatable! A simple diagnostic ultrasound can determine the type and level of insufficiency, and a physician will work with you one-on-one to determine which treatment options best serve you.
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