What are spider veins?
What are spider veins and how do they form?
Spider veins are tiny dilated blood vessels that appear near the skin’s surface. They are often blue or purplish in color. Generally spider veins cause no harm. However, they may offer a clue clinically that one has venous disease deeper within their legs and thighs. Not every individual complaining of spider veins suffers from superficial venous disease, but some do. For the most part, treatment of spider veins is for cosmetic improvement. We treat cosmetic spider veins regularly at Cosmetic Laser Center℠ with sclerotherapy.
With that being said, some patients with venous disease or “reflux” also complain of spider veins which Terrance R. Krysinski, MD will treat when possible and when appropriate to do so after the more pressing issues within the venous system have been addressed surgically. We care about our patients and want to make sure that we get the full picture before deciding on the best course of treatment.
Pooling of Blood in the Veins
Spider veins can form through genetic inheritance, extra weight and stress on the lower limbs, face, and other areas. The most common place we see these spider veins is in the legs as they often develop alongside areas that are also developing varicose veins.
The reasons spider veins form is due to the lack of sufficient blood flow, however, spider veins are not as serious as varicose veins; spider veins are often asymptomatic. Spider and varicose veins alike are created when an overflow of blood results from overwhelmed, congested veins within the lower extremities. The veins just below the surface of the skin suffer from this venous reflux, or back-flow of blood, and these ill-equipped veins take on too much blood causing them to dilate and become more visible.
I have symptoms in my legs and spider veins. Now what?
For patients who report symptoms in their lower extremities and especially those with numerous risk factors for chronic venous insufficiency, we provide ultrasound and physical examinations to explore the patient’s veins so that the most appropriate medical treatment can be recommended. If underlying venous disease is found on exam, the appropriate steps toward vein treatment will be taken.
However, if your exam does not find disease but rather reveals normal superficial veins, you will be managed accordingly at Cosmetic Laser Center℠ conveniently located within the same building. Our surgeon Dr. Terrance Krysinski is the medical director for both facilities where the same staff is shared.
How do you treat spider veins in the lower extremity?
At the Vein Institute of Pittsburgh℠ as well as Cosmetic Laser Centers™, sclerotherapy is performed to treat spider veins. During sclerotherapy, the targeted veins are injected with a medication similar to a detergent that causes the tiny undesirable veins to scar over on themselves and then later reabsorb into the body. This treatment is effective since it completely removes the spider vein from visibility on the surface of the skin as it closes off the vein from blood flow.
Prescription-grade compression hose are required for a period of time after sclerotherapy sessions, but there is virtually no downtime. Most normal activities can be resumed immediately post-treatment. It is recommended that one avoids a few activities after sclerotherapy; however those will be discussed with you in detail at your appointment.
Most often sclerotherapy is done with visual guidance only, but in certain cases ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (USG sclerotherapy) may be used for deeper spider or reticular veins that are too small to remove with the microphlebectomy technique.
All of our treatments for spider veins are safe, effective, and relatively comfortable. These treatments are minimally invasive. We take our patient comfort into consideration throughout the process and make sure to target all of the problem areas aesthetically while covering any cause for medical concern.
Not sure what kind of appointment would be best for you and suit your needs? No worries! Call us at Vein Institute of Pittsburgh℠ today 724-934-8346 and we will help navigate you.