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You Don’t Have To Suffer With Leg Veins
Spider veins are small superficial blood vessels that appear red or blue in the skin. They commonly occur on the legs, but can occur on other areas of the body. Larger dilated blood vessels, called varicose veins, may appear raised above the skin surface. Varicose veins may occur with spider veins.
Patients can have pain that ranges from dull and throbbing to a burning sensation. Large veins are more likely to cause discomfort, although spider veins can cause pain as well. The cause of leg veins is not completely known. They do run in families.
Leg veins appear more commonly in women but also occur in men. They may also appear after an injury. Leg veins cannot always be prevented. Wearing support hose may minimize the number that develop. Keeping your weight in a healthy range and exercising regularly is helpful, as well as eating a high-fiber diet and wearing low-heeled shoes.
If leg veins are bothersome, they can be treated with many different treatment methods. The choice of procedure depends on the size and location of the leg veins. The injection method is called sclerotherapy.
One of several kinds of sclerosing solution is injected directly into the vein with a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vein causing it to swell, stick together, and the blood to clot. Over a period of weeks, the vein turns into scar tissue that fades, eventually becoming barely noticeable. A single vein may have to be injected more than once, weeks or months apart, depending on its size. A number of vessels can be injected in any one-treatment session.
Lasers can also be used to eliminate leg veins. Different wavelengths of light are absorbed by the blood in the veins to destroy them. There are many types of lasers that can be used.
Varicose veins can be connected to spider veins. In such cases, the varicose veins should be treated before treatment of the smaller veins. Endovenous laser ablation is the newest technology available for treatment of varicose veins.
A small single needle incision is made in the leg and a fiber is inserted into the varicose vein. The laser is activated and the vein is safely closed as the fiber is moved through the vein, gently heating it. Once the vein is closed, the blood that was circulating through this vein is simply rerouted to other healthy veins and the varicose vein vanishes.
Endovenous laser ablation is minimally invasive and performed in your doctor’s office. An ultrasound screening is used to determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure. There is very little, if any, pain associated with the procedure. Local numbing medication is used. There are no large scars associated that can sometimes occur with other methods such as vein stripping. No stitches are required.
Your symptoms will begin to improve immediately after the procedure. The leg is wrapped in a compression bandage and you will be up and walking the same day, resuming regular activity the next day.
Schedule a consultation with your vein specialist to see what treatment options are best for you.