5 Things to Think About Before Spider Vein Treatment

You might think of spider veins as varicose veins’ younger or smaller sibling. They are usually near the surface of the skin and much smaller in size compared to varicose veins. Although the veins might be smaller and less likely to cause discomfort, they can still make you feel self-conscious. Fortunately, there are a few spider vein treatment options available to help reduce the appearance of the veins and improve your self-confidence. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about treatment.

Understanding Spider Vein Treatment

Do You Need Treatment?

Not everyone needs treatment at a vein clinic for their spider veins. In many cases, the veins are asymptomatic and don’t cause pain or discomfort. The veins might also be in an out of the way area and not easy to see.

But, you might consider seeking out the services of a vein doctor and vein treatment center if the veins itch or burn or if they bother you in any way. That includes if you simply don’t like the way they look. For many people, spider veins are a cosmetic issue. If you’re unhappy about their appearance, the good news is that you can do something about it.

What Do You Expect from Treatment?

Having realistic expectations about what your treatment can and can’t do is crucial for the overall success of it. Vein doctors usually sit down with patients before the treatment to give them a better idea of what the procedures can and can’t do. It’s also a good idea to ask vascular surgeons how many treatments you might need to get the results you want and how much time you’ll need after each for recovery.

Do You Understand Your Treatment Options?

Sclerotherapy, which uses a chemical solution to destroy the veins, is the standard treatment for spider veins. But there are other options available. For example, if you have very fine spider veins, your vein doctor might recommend VeinGogh, which uses heat to destroy the veins. In some cases, a combination of both treatments might be the best option for you. 

What Happens After Treatment?

Both types of spider vein treatment are usually very  minimally invasive and won’t interfere with your day-to-day life too much. That said, it’s still important to know what to expect after each treatment and what you can do to help your recovery along. For example, your doctor might recommend wearing support hose for several weeks to help the healing process. He might also recommend avoiding some activities for a few weeks.

What Else Can You Do to Minimize Spider Veins?

A few lifestyle changes, either before or after treatment, can help keep spider veins from returning or minimize the appearance of existing ones. Your vein doctor might recommend getting more exercise, losing weight or limiting sun exposure to help keep your spider veins in check.

 

Why Do I Have All These Spider Veins?

If you’re like many patients, spider veins took you by surprise.  These red weblike veins tend to form in groups near the surface of the skin, most often in the legs.  The medical name for these collections of blood vessels is telangiectasias.  Individuals who visit a vein treatment center with cosmetic concerns about these tiny vessels wonder what caused them, how to eliminate them, and how to help prevent more.

Spider Vein Facts

Unlike varicose veins, these vessels usually create no health problems.  However, like the cause of varicose veins, theirs is weak vein valves that allow blood that should be circulating toward the heart to fall backward.  Vein doctors explain that pressure from pooled blood stretches a vessel, causing it to expand and eventually appear as a spider or a varicose vein.

The Cleveland Clinic notes that these abnormal veins affect between 30 and 50 percent of U.S. adults.  The most common reasons they develop include:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Standing for extended periods
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Pregnancy-related hormonal changes
  • Birth control pill use
  • Hormone replacement therapy after menopause
  • Sitting with crossed legs for long periods
  • Wearing tight clothing
  • A history of one or more blood clots
  • Vein injury
  • Medical conditions that raise abdominal pressure, such as liver disease
  • Prior venous surgery
  • Ultraviolet ray exposure
  • Injury or trauma to the skin
  • Use of topical steroids

Treatment Options from Vein Doctors

The specialists who treat a spider vein problem on an outpatient basis at a vein clinic are usually vascular surgeons.  Your path to resolution begins with an initial consultation, during which the vein doctor performs a physical exam, explores your medical history, and discusses expectations.

Vascular surgeons can offer two primary medical treatment options, sclerotherapy and the use of laser and light energy, to eliminate these unwanted blood vessels.  Both techniques use minimally invasive, same-day procedures with little discomfort.  They allow a patient to quickly resume his or her daily schedule.  However, neither treatment can prevent the formation of new abnormal veins.  For this reason, some patients return periodically to a vein clinic for additional treatment sessions.

Self-help Tips

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explains that spider vein patients can take these steps to lower their risk of new vessels:

  • Stay active.  Avoid standing or sitting for extended times.  Be sure to move at least every half an hour to boost blood flow.  Also periodically flex your calf muscles when sitting for extended periods.
  • Remain at your healthy weight.  This helps get rid of excess leg pressure.
  • Try compression stockings.  Your vein doctor can give you a prescription.
  • Avoid excessive heat.  This means steering clear of hot tubs and extended hot baths.  Both cause veins to swell and blood to pool.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.  Tight clothing around your legs, groin area, and waist can reduce circulation efficiency.

What Are the Risk Factors for Spider Veins?

For a majority of patients, spider veins represent a cosmetic rather than a medical problem.  Their typically red or blue color is particularly noticeable in fair-skinned individuals.  When these blood vessels present a big enough cosmetic issue, patients can experience a dip in self-confidence.  Knowing the risk factors for developing a spider vein problem is helpful in taking steps to prevent these troublesome vessels and to reduce stress during treatment.

Spider Veins Overview

Wake Forest® Baptist Health notes that the medical name for a spider vein is a telangiectasia.  This kind of vessel is smaller than a typical varicose vein but can enlarge as time passes.  These veins tend to form in clusters and get their name from the appearance of a spider web.

Some physicians believe a spider vein is a kind of varicose vein that forms on the legs, face, ankles, or thighs.  Others consider it a distinct type.  Vein doctors see some patients who also have medical symptoms such as itching or pain.

Up to half of U.S. adults have these veins, according to the Cleveland Clinic.  They form after blood pools inside a vein because of a defective valve.  They occur more often in women than in men.

Risk Factors

These are the most common risk factors experienced by patients treated at a vein clinic:

  • Prior vascular problems in the family
  • Advancing age
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Carrying too much weight
  • Hormonal changes linked to pregnancy
  • Birth control pill usage
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Tight clothes
  • Sitting with crossed legs for prolonged periods
  • Earlier blood clots
  • Injury to a vein
  • Medical conditions such as heart failure that raise abdominal pressure

Other risk factors include:

  • Using topical steroids
  • Exposure to ultraviolet rays
  • Previous vein surgery
  • Injury or trauma to the skin

Individuals who face these risk factors can make lifestyle changes to help prevent the development of a spider vein problem.  Examples include shedding excess weight and reducing the time spent of their feet.

Options at a Vein Treatment Center

The specialists who treat vein problems are typically vascular surgeons.  They typically rely on two kinds of treatment to eliminate a spider vein issue:

  • Sclerotherapy is often called the gold standard of spider vein treatment.  It is also useful for some small varicose veins.  Using a very fine needle, a vein doctor injects a special solution called a sclerosant into each problem vessel.  The sclerosant irritates the vein’s walls, causing them to stick to each other.  The body eventually absorbs the vein.
  • The VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System is ideal for vessels too small for vascular surgeons to treat with sclerotherapy.  Vein doctors sometimes use it in conjunction with sclerotherapy.  It is appropriate for any skin type.  The technology relies on the conversion of microbursts of electrical energy to heat.

 

 

Spider Vein Treatment In a Nutshell

In the big picture, spider veins are one of the more minor of the various vein diseases. Still, they can be unattractive and may cause symptoms. Spider vein treatment is quick and effective, with minimal risks, and is typically performed in the office of a vein doctor or in a vein treatment center. Here’s some information about spider vein treatment from the experts at the Bridgeport Vein Center, a well-known vein clinic in the Portland, Oregon area.

How Spider Veins Develop

Although arteries are smooth inside, veins perform their role of returning blood to the heart with the help of tiny tissue flaps called valves. Muscle contractions in the legs also help pump blood back up to the heart. In a healthy vein, the valves close at each short pause between heartbeats, which prevents the blood from flowing backwards. Over time, however, these valves can fail (the medical term is become incompetent) and blood pools in the vein.

The Appearance of Spider Veins

Although varicose veins are most common in the legs, spider veins can develop in other areas – most notably the face. While they can sometimes be covered with makeup, spider veins are typically very visible. Behind the knee, they may look like a small cluster of blackish or dark purple varicose veins. On the face, they are more likely to be reddish “sunbursts” that look more like a tiny spider web – hence the name.

Spider Vein Treatment: Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is probably the most common treatment vein doctors use for spider veins. Using a tiny needle, the doctor injects a special solution into the spider vein. The solution irritates the wall of the vein, causing it to swell and then collapse. As it heals, the vein scars closed, and is eventually absorbed into the surrounding tissue. It takes about 10 to 30 minutes for a sclerotherapy treatment, which is performed in the doctor’s office. Occasionally mild bruising or swelling may occur; full healing takes several weeks.

Spider Vein Treatment: VeinGogh

For very fine spider veins that may be difficult to treat with sclerotherapy, a VeinGogh treatment may be more effective. VeinGogh uses heat to make the blood in the vein clot and collapse the vein wall. The collapsed vein is then absorbed and disappears. VeinGogh uses a hair-thin insulated probe to deliver a micro-burst of high energy heat directly to the vein. One of the great advantages of VeinGogh as compared to other therapies like lasers is that VeinGogh is effective no matter what your skin color and type. The skin itself is not affected by VeinGogh, only the spider vein.

If you’re troubled by spider veins, the vascular surgeons at Bridgeport Vein Center can help you. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We can also answer any questions you may have about the procedure or other issues such as scheduling, preparation or payment.

Prevent Spider Veins from Reappearing with These Helpful Aftercare Tips

After undergoing treatment for your spider veins, or telangiectasia as it is sometimes called, the last thing you want to do is have them reappear. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help reduce your chances of having telangiectasia reappear.

The following are some great, easy-to-follow tips that can help you prevent spider veins.

Tip #1 – Wear Sunscreen on a Daily Basis

Wearing sunscreen can protect your skin not only from sunburns, but from developing unsightly red lines associated with telangiectasia. It is recommended that you use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen, even if you aren’t going to be out in the sun. Make sure to apply it on all parts of your body, including your face.

Tip #2 – Engage in Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly, for at least 30 minutes a day, can help prevent telangiectasia. Exercise can help by strengthen the veins in your legs. If the veins are stronger, there is less of a chance of you developing telangiectasia.

If you are exercising to prevent this vascular problem, it is a good idea to focus on exercises that target the legs, as most cases of telangiectasia occur in the legs. Focusing on this part of the body while you exercise may prevent those unsightly red spider web-like lines from forming on your leg.

Tip #3 – Wear Comfortable, Low-Heeled Shoes

Wearing high-heeled shoes might make you look fashionable, but it could cause you to develop spider veins. Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes can help you improve the circulation and blood flow in your legs. Increased blood flow and circulation can help with the prevention of telangiectasia.

Tip #4 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight will help you keep pressure off your legs. Reducing the amount of pressure on your legs will help improve the strength of your veins. Stronger veins are less likely to leak. Leaking veins is one of the most common causes of spider and varicose veins.

Every individual’s healthy weight will vary. Talk with your healthcare provider to receive personalized advice on how to maintain a healthy weight.

Remember, not all types of telangiectasia can be prevented. Even if you follow all of these aftercare tips, you may still develop spider veins depending upon what is causing them to appear.

If you should develop spider veins, Dr. Kenneth A. Janoff of Bridgeport Vein Center, located in Portland, Oregon, can help you find a treatment that will reduce their appearance. Dr. Kenneth A. Janoff is experienced in diagnosing and treating a variety of vascular problems, including telangiectasia. Call our vein clinic today to schedule an appointment with our vein doctor to discuss treatment options, such as VeinGogh and Sclerotherapy.

Pros and Cons of Spider Vein Treatment

Spider veins, named because they resemble tiny spider webs, can be a source of embarrassment. The veins often appear on people’s legs, but can also develop on the nose or other areas of the face. Fortunately, there are a number of spider vein treatment options available to reduce or eliminate the veins. While the treatments have definite advantages, there are also some drawbacks you should know about.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Spider Vein Treatment

Pro: Limited Downtime

Usually, the amount of time you have to spend off of your feet and resting after treatment for spider veins is limited. Although you’ll want to wear compression stockings for a few weeks afterwards, you’ll be able to return to your regular life pretty much right away. Your vein doctor will let you know if any activities, such as exercise, are off-limits and for how long.

Pro: Treatment Works

Spider vein treatments tend to be effective. Sclerotherapy, for instance, destroys the actual veins, so that they fade from view. The VeinGogh system also destroys the veins, using a burst of electrical energy to cause them to coagulate and collapse.

Pro: Comfortable Treatment

Another pro of spider vein treatments is that they tend to be fairly comfortable. You might feel a tingling or cramping sensation during sclerotherapy, but that discomfort typically fades after about a minute or two.

Additionally, most treatments for spider veins are minimally invasive and don’t leave large scars or require large incisions. Both sclerotherapy and VeinGogh are performed with a tiny needle or probe, so no cuts or incisions are required.

Con: You Might Need a Series of Treatment

One of the drawbacks of spider vein treatments is that, while they do work, it might take several attempts before you get the results you hope to see. Some veins might need to be injected a few times before they finally collapse for good, for example.

Con: Treatments Take Time

Spider vein treatments aren’t ideal if you need to see results instantly. Depending on the size of your veins, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before you see the final results after your treatments. The VeinGogh treatment system, for example, usually takes between three and six weeks to show results and is only effective on the smallest of veins.

Con: Spider Veins Can Return

Treatment is effective on existing veins. But it won’t keep new spider veins from developing. If you want to keep your spider veins from coming back, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Exercising or moving more also reduces the likelihood that your veins will return.

Ready to learn more about treatment options for spider veins? Contact the vascular surgeons at Bridgeport Vein Center today.

How to Prevent Spider Veins

How to Prevent Spider Veins

Are you worried that spider veins will ruin the smooth, youthful appearance of your skin? You are not alone – the Office on Women’s Health says that 50 to 55 percent of women and 40 to 45 percent of men have some sort of vein disease, such as spider veins. While you may not always be able to prevent spider veins, you can take steps to reduce your risk for developing those red or blue jagged lines that look somewhat like a tree branch or spider web. Your vein doctor can also give you ideas on how to prevent spider veins.

About Spider Veins

Spider veins typically develop on the lower legs but can appear on your face or other areas of your body. They may cover a very small or a very large area of skin.

Spider veins are often the result of blood accumulating in small veins near the surface of the skin. Normally, strong veins and one-way valves help veins fight the force of gravity to push blood upwards from your feet and lower legs towards your heart.

Weak veins or faulty valves allow blood to accumulate in certain places in your veins, a condition known as venous insufficiency. Excess blood causes the veins to become bloated and swollen. When large veins lying near the surface of skin become bloated, they appear as varicose veins. Smaller veins appear as spider veins.

Spider veins can also be the result of hormone changes, exposure to the sun, excess weight, and injuries. Ultraviolet (UV) light in the sun breaks down collagen, a type of connective tissue, and blood vessels lying close to the surface of the skin. This allows spider veins to ‘pop up’ on your nose or cheeks.

Excess weight puts pressure on veins, which can weaken the blood vessels. Hormone changes, like those during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, can weak vein walls. Injuries can also weaken veins lying close to the surface of your skin.

 

How to Prevent Spider Veins

Wear sunscreen to protect your veins from damaging UV light.

Exercise regularly, focusing on activities that get your legs moving. Regular exercise improves leg strength, blood circulation and the strength of your veins.

Lose weight.

Do not cross your legs when you sit. Sitting this way all the time can injure the veins in the backs of your legs.

Avoid sitting or standing for a long time. If you must remain in one position, try shifting your weight from side to side. Get up and move every half hour or so, whenever possible.

Avoid clothing that fits tightly around your waist, groin or legs. Tight clothing can impair blood flow.

Wear low-heeled shoes whenever possible. Low-heeled shoes help tone your calf muscles, which promotes good circulation through your veins.

Make an appointment with your local vein clinic. Vein doctors can provide personalized tips on how to avoid spider veins and, if necessary, discuss your treatment options if you already have spider veins.

Which Spider Vein Treatment Is Right for You?

You look in the mirror and notice tiny, blue or red veins scattered across your face or you take a look at your legs and see what looks like a web of veins just beneath the skin. Known as spider veins, these veins are usually harmless. But they can affect your confidence and how you feel about your appearance. For that reason, people with spider veins often look in treatment options. The spider vein treatment you pick depends on the size the veins and how long you want to wait for results.

Choosing the Best Spider Vein Treatment

Sclerotheraphy

Sclerotherapy is often used by vein doctors to treat larger spider veins and smaller varicose veins. Usually, the treatment is most effective when performed on veins that are at least 3 mm in diameter. During sclerotherapy, the vein doctor injects a chemical solution into the vein. The chemicals irritate the veins, so that they shrivel up and eventually fade from view. Depending on the size of the vein, a single injection might be enough to treat it. Some veins require multiple injections before they finally go away.

The treatment has several advantages. One big advantage is that it is relatively painless and doesn’t require any anesthesia. You also don’t need to take any time off or spend days recovering after the injections. The one thing you will need to do after treatment is wear compression stockings, to help the veins fade away. Usually, stockings should be worn for several weeks after the treatment. Your veins should fade from view within a few weeks, although in some cases, it can take a few months for them to disappear.

VeinGogh

Another treatment option for spider veins is VeinGogh. While sclerotherapy uses chemicals to destroy spider veins, VeinGogh uses heat to get rid rid of unwanted veins. During treatment, a vein doctor places a small probe into the skin. Heat from the probe causes the veins to collapse and fade away.

One of the advantages of VeinGogh over sclerotherapy is that it works with smaller veins, even with veins that are smaller than 1 mm in diameter. Unlike laser treatments, which can also be performed to treat spider veins, VeinGogh doesn’t damage the outer layer of skin. No downtime is needed, but it can take as long as six weeks before the veins fade from view.

Depending on the size of your spider veins, you can combine VeinGogh and sclerotherapy treatments. VeinGogh can work on the tiny veins and sclerotherapy can work on the larger veins. To learn more about treatment for spider veins and to choose the option or options that are right for you, make an appointment with vascular surgeons at Bridgeport Vein Center today. Contact us now for more information.

Using Sclerotherapy to Remove Spider Veins

Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive and highly effective procedure often used to treat spider veins. This procedure can be performed in the comfort of your vein doctor’s office with no need for general anesthesia.

How it Works

Sclerotherapy works by introducing a sclerosing solution into spider veins. This solution irritates the walls of the veins, causing them to swell, seal off and collapse. Over time, the treated vein is absorbed by the body and fades from view.

Preparing for Sclerotherapy

Before your surgeon schedules sclerotherapy, he or she will examine your veins and review your medical history. Be sure to report any factors that may affect your safety during surgery, including a history of birth control usage or smoking, any heart conditions you have, medications you take and any allergies to medication or other substances. Follow your surgeon’s pre-op instructions carefully to avoid problems during the procedure.

Don’t shave your legs or apply any creams or lotions during the 24 hour period immediately before surgery. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that can be removed easily for the procedure.

What to Expect   http://www.bridgeportvein.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/60/2016/04/doctor2.png

During the procedure, your surgeon will ask you to lie down on your back with your legs elevated slightly. He or she will clean the skin near your spider veins before performing the injections. Injections of sclerosing solution will be made directly into your spider veins with a fine needle. You may feel some cramping or discomfort during the injections. After each injection, the surgeon may apply compression to disperse the sclerosing solution. The entire procedure should be completed in less than an hour. For some patients, sclerotherapy takes only 15 minutes.

After the procedure is complete, you will rest on your back temporarily. Within a few minutes, the surgeon will ask you to get up and walk. You may be asked to wear bandages and/or compression garments for several days after the procedure.

Recovery

While you are recovering from sclerotherapy, you should avoid aerobic activity, as well as exposure to the sun. It is common for patients to notice swelling and redness near the injection sites, as well as brown spots or lines. You may also notice bruising. All of these effects should fade over time.

The results of your sclerotherapy procedure may not appear for up to six weeks, depending on the size of the veins treated. Some patients may require additional treatments to achieve the desired outcome. Additional treatments may also be required if new spider veins develop.

Scheduling a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about how sclerotherapy can be used to treat spider veins, please contact the Bridgeport Vein Center today.

5 Facts About Spider Veins

5 Facts About Spider Veins

You look at your legs and notice tiny blue and red veins just beneath the surface of the skin. They are spider veins. The veins earn their name because they occasionally resemble spider webs. Some people also compare their appearance to tree branches and the more formal name for them is telangiectases. While seeing the veins on your legs or face can make you want to cover up, the good news is that they usually aren’t much of an issue and treatments are available.

They Aren’t the Same as Varicose Veins  spider veins

Don’t confuse spider veins with varicose veins. Although they might be similar, and many people have both at the same time, they aren’t exactly the same. Telangiectases are much smaller than varicose veins, according to Womenshealth.gov. While varicose veins tend to bulge through the skin and look like thick ropes, telangiectases are flat and are usually located closer to the surface of the skin.

Several Factors Can Cause Them

A few things can lead to the development of telangiectases. A backup of blood in the veins is one common cause. Often, spider veins that are appear the face develop as a result of sun exposure. Finally, changes in hormone levels, due to pregnancy or menopause, can also lead to the development of the veins.

They Can Cause Symptoms

In many cases, telangiectases are seen but not felt. But, that doesn’t mean that they are always asymptomatic. Some people might notice feelings of itchiness or a burning sensation in the areas where the veins are located.

You Can Try to Prevent Them

While there is no sure-fire way to prevent spider and varicose veins, there are a few things you can do to try and reduce your risk for developing them. For example, regular exercise seems to help improve blood flow and circulation and minimize the appearance of veins. Wearing compression or support stockings can also help prevent the veins, as can maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet.

 You Can Treat Them

If you do have telangiectases and wish that you didn’t, there are a number of treatment options, available at a vein treatment center. A common treatment is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a special solution into the veins. The solution causes the veins to collapse, so that they fade from view. It typically takes between three and six weeks after treatment for the veins to respond.

Another treatment option is the VeinGogh Ohmic Thermolysis System, which uses electrical energy to heat and destroy the unwanted veins. The VeinGogh system is often recommended for use on veins that are too small to treat with sclerotherapy.

To learn more about your treatment options, contact Dr. Kenneth A. Janoff,  a vein doctor and vascular surgeon, at the Bridgeport Vein Center today.

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