What are Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins have two different classifications: saphenous and non-saphenous. These classifications are based on their blood drainage systems and how the vein disorder influences the blood flow in the vein’s trunks and branches.
Varicose veins, in particular, can become very painful if left untreated. In fact, they can become so painful that they can limit your ability to walk or to perform other activities. One of the biggest misunderstandings about varicose veins is that the pain of untreated veins can be much worse than the pain of treatment. Varicose veins can cause serious health complications like clotting. It is important to have them treated, even if they are not currently causing pain.
But some people still feel that the treatment for those veins would be worse. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Saphenous Varicose Veins
A saphenous varicose vein is the classification of a vein that holds blood that flows into the great saphenous vein or the small saphenous vein. The great saphenous vein is located in the inner-ankle and runs up the inner-leg towards the groin. The small saphenous vein is located in the outer-ankle and runs up the calf to the inner-knee. When the vein valve problem influences the vein’s branches and main vein trunk, saphenous varicose veins can develop into even larger varicose veins and will commonly form over the trunk of the vein.
Non-Saphenous Varicose Veins
Non-saphenous varicose veins are commonly smaller than veins that have been classified as saphenous. Non-saphenous varicose veins usually flow blood into a perforator vein that has become diseased. These unhealthy perforator veins reverse the typical flow of blood in the vein, causing the blood to flow towards the skin’s surface at very high pressure. Due to this increased pressure, non-saphenous varicose veins develop. Non-saphenous varicose veins can develop anywhere on the body but usually appear on the thigh, outer-knee and lower portions of the leg.
Many people contact us because they have visible veins that they’d like treated. They feel the appearance of these veins makes them look older, or self-conscious. Additionally, these veins may cause uncomfortable symptoms. These visible veins can be varicose veins, but could also be spider veins.
Spider veins can look similar to varicose veins, although they are closer to the surface of the skin. They can be blue, red, or purple and the thin visible veins tend to look like a spider web. In most cases there is no medically necessary reason to treat spider veins, however most patients come to use for treatment because of a strong preference to return a smooth appearance to their legs.
Anyone can develop spider veins, but they occur more frequently in women. Up to half the population may have spider or varicose veins at some point, and the chances get more likely as we get older. Also known as telangiectasias, spider veins are caused by an abnormality in a blood vessel. Although any person can develop these visible veins, there are some common risk factors:
- Older age
- Not using sun screen
- Standing a large part of the day
- Hormonal changes
- History of having blood clots
TREATMENT FOR VARICOSE AND SPIDER VEINS
The latest treatment for varicose and spider veins involves the minimally invasive use of injections or lasers. In some cases, a laser seals off the vein and prevent the blood from flowing back into it and pooling there. In other cases, a special solution is injected into the vein to seal it off and prevent blood from gathering.
Typically, the laser occurs for larger veins, like varicose veins. The special solution is for smaller veins, like spider veins. However, the vein specialist will determine the best treatment for each patient.
Neither procedure requires an incision. Both procedures may be on an out-patient basis and in a very short time. Most patients need very little recovery time, if any. They are able to carry on with most of their activities as usual.
You may not worry about the pain of the vein treatment itself but about the pain to your pocketbook. In some cases, insurance will cover the treatments, if you are experiencing severe pain or have limited mobility. You will have to talk with your doctor about the diagnosis and how that might impact your insurance coverage.
Even if your insurance does not cover the treatment, you can find affordable options. Many providers offer affordable treatment plans, as well as financing options for the treatments.
Coastal Vascular Center offers non-invasive, cutting-edge vein treatments at an affordable price. We work with our patients to find the best treatment to ease the symptoms from their varicose or spider veins. Then to help them find the best way to afford these treatments. Leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to major health problems and chronic pain. It is essential that you get them treated as soon as you can.
If you are having vein related issues, call Coastal Vascular today, we will love your legs as much as you do! You can find us at www.coastalvascular.net, or call 713-999-6056.