1. What are spider veins?
These are hair-thin, small veins located on the surface of the skin. They may be blue or red in color and frequently look like a "spider". These are known as telangiectasia. They may or may not be associated with other underlying vein disease, such as varicose veins. Therefore, an ultrasound exam may be advised since unrecognized underlying vein disease is the most common reason for unsatisfactory results.
2. How are spider veins treated?
Before treating surface spider veins, any underlying vein disease must be evaluated and treated first. Sclerotherapy is used to treat spider veins. This involves using a tiny needle to inject a small amount of a solution that will shut down the vein. It is nearly painless, even for patients who are afraid of needles. After treatment sessions, a compression stocking is worn for 24 hours to help compress the vein. Injection sites may initially appear bruised or red. Within a few weeks, once the healing process in complete, most spider veins look better, although, continued improvement usually occurs over many months. Depending on the size and surface area of spider veins, multiple treatment sessions may be necessary.
3. What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, blue rope like structures that are bulging of the skin and occur in bunches like grapes, or in snakelike curves. Failing valves in the leg veins allow blood flow down into feet. This condition is known as venous reflux. Venous reflux causes surface veins to enlarge and varicosed. The force of blood traveling the wrong way to the foot causes the fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues, making the affected leg swell and feel heavy. Unsightly and uncomfortable, varicose leg veins can cause aching, heaviness, and tiredness in the legs. They may occur in almost any part of the leg. Left untreated, patient symptoms are likely to worsen. Patients may develop discolorations of skin or ulcers (open non-healing sores) around ankles.
4. Why do varicose veins occur in the legs?
Gravity and non-functioning valves in leg veins are the cause. Consequently, if the vein valves fail, the backflow of blood causes the surface veins in legs to be under pressure, become swollen, enlarged and distorted.
5. Who is at risk for spider and varicose veins?
Conditions contributing to spider and varicose veins include genetics,hereditary, pregnancy, hormonal changes, work or hobbies requiring extended standing, obesity, trauma and injury to legs, thrombophlebitis (inflammation of veins) and previous history of blood clots. Since females usually have multiple risk factors for the development of varicose veins, about 75% of the persons who have varicose veins are women and 25% are men.
6. What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Varicose veins may cause legs to ache, feel heavy, and tire easily. Feet and ankles may swell at the end of day. Varicose veins may itch or burn. Leg cramps can occur at any time including at nighttime. Varicose veins can get inflamed and cause redness of the skin. As skin and tissue damage progresses, ankles and feet can develop brown or black discolorations. In some cases, patients may develop ulcers and open painful sores.
7. What are the consequences of varicose veins?
Veins do not tolerate high pressure well and begin to allow red blood cells and fluid to leak into the tissues of the leg. The fluid leak causes ankle swelling. The red blood cells in the tissues cause chronic inflammation and the skin becomes dark and discolored. This can lead to chronic skin changes and eventually ulceration.
8. What are the effects of spider and varicose vein treatment on blood flow?
Patients usually ask: "How will the blood get back to my heart if these veins are gone and don't I need these veins?" The answer is that varicose and spider veins are part of a vein system know and superficial or surface veins. The important veins in the legs are the deeper veins known as the deep venous system. The superficial veins are a duplicate system of veins that are not necessary in a normal functioning deep venous system.
9. What can I expect at the first appointment?
You will meet Dr Keyhani who will review your medical history and examine your legs for evidence of venous disease. Depending on the examination and the history, we may proceed with an ultrasound to evaluate the deeper veins in the legs not seen by the naked eye. A treatment course will be prescribed. If you only have spider veins and no further disease of the venous system, then you will be scheduled for sclerotherapy and/or VeinGogh therapy.
10. What type of medical insurance do you accept?
We are participating providers for Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Sheild, Humana, Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, Medicaid and and all PPO's. Please call to verify your insurance prior to the visit.