What are Varicose & Spider Veins - How do we treat them?

July 08, 2021

What are Varicose Veins?

They are unsightly worm/grape like bulges found on the legs. 

Why do we have them? 

Varicose veins form due to increased blood pressure in the veins and on the vein walls. The valves in the veins weaken resulting in pooling of blood causing distention, bulging, pain and swelling.  These veins often appear twisted and bulging on the skin’s surface but they can be hidden within the fat.

But what are Spider Veins?

“Spider Veins” are thread like veins that appear on the skin’s surface. These spider veins can look like a “starburst” cluster, a dark bruise or like a spider web. Spider veins are most common in the thighs, ankles and feet. They may also appear on the face and nose.

What causes Varicose & Spider Veins 

The most common causes of varicose veins are: 
•    Pregnancy
•    Obesity 
•    Family history, genetics
•    Hormonal changes
•    Trauma

It is common for airline workers, hairdressers, retail workers and those who stand on their feet for long hours to develop unwanted varicose veins. 

What treatments are available for Varicose and Spider Veins?

Larger varicose veins can occur on their own or can underline spider veins. In most cases the varicose veins should be treated before spider veins.

Sclerotherapy is the gold standard for treatment of varicose and spider veins. A fine needle is used to inject a solution directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the vein, causing the inner lining to collapse and ultimately the vein. The vein turns into scar tissue that fades from view.

Following the injection of the solution into the vein, it is important to apply compression such as bandages or stockings to the treated leg. This causes the collapsed vein wall to stick together and seal shut.

Does the procedure hurt?
We use microinjections which are hardly felt and are virtually painless.  
The injected solution can cause a mild sting for several seconds, and the treated veins, if large, may feel a little sore for several days.
The area may look like a bruise after the treatment however this will subside. 

How long  do the results last?

For some people, once the veins have been treated/ sealed (sclerosed) the result is permanent.

However, depending on the underlying causes that lead to the problematic veins, new varicose/spider veins may form over time. These would require further treatment.

It is common that patients will require ongoing maintenance of 1 – 2 treatments each year for recurring varicose/spider veins. 

We recommend you meet with one of our experienced Doctors  to discuss your individual requirements. We can then formulate an appropriate treatment plan for you.


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