|Innovative Vascular Health Group|
There are three kinds of veins in our body (supperficial veins, perforating veins, and deep veins). Generally, the superficial veins connect to the deep veins directly or though the perforating veins. Although we normally treat superficial vein disease, any of the veins can cause problems requiring treatment.
Veins return the oxygen poor blood back to the heart for recirculation. To achieve this, most veins in the body have valves which prevents blood from flowing in the opposite direction. During muscle movement the valves open, thus allowing blood to flow towards the heart. During periods of rest or standing these valves close; thus preventing the blood from flowing back down the vein in to the legs form which it came.
When the valves become stretched or damaged, the normal return of blood to the heart is interrupted and the diseased veins begin to dilate over time.
Spider veins are mild varicose veins. They look like a nest of red or blue lines just under your skin. Spider veins are not a serious medical problem, but they can be a cosmetic concern to some people.
What are the symptoms?
What causes varicose veins?
High blood pressure inside your superficial leg veins causes varicose veins. Risk factors that worsen your chances of having varicose veins include:
What tests will I need?
A ultrasound of the veins will complement your doctors physical examination and will help to formulate a treatment plan. It will also allow the doctor to determine if the varicose vein is an isolated problem or part of a broader problem.
How are varicose veins treated?
All patients regardless of severity should try leg elevation above the level of your heart 3 or 4 times a day for about 15 minutes at a time. In addition basic compression stockings with varying strengths may help reduce the leg swelling, heavy feeling and leg fatique. For mild disease gentile compression stockings using 12-15 mmHg may be of benefit. For moderate disease higher compressions can be discussed with your doctor.
Compression stockings are elastic stockings that squeeze your veins and stop excess blood from flowing backward. Wearing these stockings daily at the correct pressure will help heal wounds and prevent them from returning.
When these kinds of treatments alone do not relieve your varicose veins, you may require a surgical or minimally invasive treatment, depending upon the extent and severity of the varicose veins. These treatments include sclerotherapy, vein stripping, and laser treatment.
Most people need a few treatments (2-4
treatments) to obtain the best results. In patients with milder cases,
1-2 will suffice. The treatments are more when there are more veins or
slightly larger veins. For patients with multiple spider veins, up to
15-20 injections can be done at each seating. Sclerotherapy treatments
are generally done in monthly intervals.
Laser treatment is the insertion of a tiny fiber into the vein with the intent of destroying the lining of the diseased vein. The vein closes and your body eventually absorbs it.
Commonly asked questions
phlebectomy is a method of removing varicose veins on the surface of the
legs. It is done in the office under local anesthesia. This procedure
involves making tiny punctures or incisions through which the varicose
veins are removed. After
treatment, a compression bandage and/or compression stocking are worn. The patient is able
to walk following the procedure.
and lesser saphenous vein stripping
Vein stripping involves tying off of the upper end of a problem vein and then removing the vein. Vein stripping is performed in an operating room. This procedure is done under spinal or general anesthesia and is chosen only when an alternative lesser invasive therapy is not appropriate.