Varicose Veins

Lower leg veins need to pump blood back to the central circulatory system against gravity. Any condition that interrupts this process can result in swelling of the veins in the lower legs, or varicose veins. Spider veins are a milder variant of this process.

varicose vein                  spider veins

                    Varicose Vein                                                                                            Spider Vein

Common causes include:

With increased age, the walls of the vessel weaken and the valves that help prevent blood from pooling in the lower leg veins become incompetent.

Prolonged Standing, pregnancy, and obesity generate conditions where lower veins must overcome more pressure to return blood to the circulation

Hormonal influences of estrogen, due to pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills tend to relax the venous system and contribute to varicose vein development in women.

Symptoms

Most varicose veins and spider veins are painless and simply a cosmetic concern. Symptoms  associated with varicose veins usually involve pain, burning and swelling in the lower legs. After prolonged swelling, inflammation of the lower legs and ulcers in the ankle may develop.

Self Care

Exercise and weight loss can go a long way in prevention and treatment of varicose veins. If possible, try to avoid periods of prolonged standing and sitting and elevate your legs when you can. Compression stockings worn during the day can be bought at most pharmacies. We can advise you on the proper selection of a stocking.

Treatments

spider veins

                  Spider vein

Injection Sclerotherapy

Injection sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used most often to treat varicose veins and “spider veins.” During sclerotherapy, the physician injects a solution directly into the affected vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a well-proven procedure and has been used since the 1930s.

Laser Sclerotherapy

Lasers use pure light energy to heat up the hemoglobin inside the blood vessel. The inner lining of the vessel is damaged and the vein is  re-absorbed and disappears over the next six weeks. There are no injections necessary and cooling agents help control any discomfort. This procedure is mostly used for abnormal vessels in the face. The Zimmer Cryo-5 cooling agent can be used to minimize any discomfort.

Advanced Treatments

For larger veins that demonstrate valve incompetence at a higher level, surgical correction or treatment with an Endovascular Laser may be necessary. Prompt clinical and ultrasound assessment, followed by referral to a vascular surgeon is our standard choice for this type of varicosity.