What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are red or purple delicate clusters of veins marking your skin's surface. They are also known as broken capillaries or telangiectasia. They form mostly on the legs, but can also appear on the face and other areas. Sometimes, these veins can resemble a spider. Other times, they may look like a tiny branching bush or a stack of thin, separate lines. Spider veins may cause aching, swelling, burning, and cramping.
A number of factors may help cause their appearance, including genetic makeup, pregnancy, excess sun exposure, weight gain, certain medications, and birth control pills, as well as trauma to the skin.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins with nonfunctioning valves, usually located in the subcutaneous tissues of the leg. They appear from stagnated or sluggish flow of the blood, in combination with defective valves and weakened walls of the veins.
Varicose veins occur most frequently in those who must stand or sit motionless for long periods of time. Pregnancy is sometimes responsible for the development of the condition. It also appears that a tendency to develop varicose veins may be inherited.
Symptoms: The development of varicose veins is usually gradual. There may be feelings of fatigue in the legs and leg cramps at night; a continual dull ache may develop in the legs and the ankles may swell. If the condition is untreated, the veins may become thick and hard to the touch, and dull or stabbing pains may be felt in time. Additionally, varicose veins may cause blood clots to the legs that can spread to the heart and lungs (thrombophlebitis and/or DVT). Thrombophlebitis and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) are serious medical conditions and may cause emergency hospitalization.
Causes: Blood returning to the heart from the legs must flow upward through the veins, against the pull of gravity. This blood is "milked" upward principally by the massaging action of the muscles against the veins. To prevent the blood from flowing backward, the veins contain flaplike valves. When the blood is flowing toward the heart, the venous valves are open and the blood can move freely. If the blood should attempt to flow backwards, the valves close and effectively stop the reverse movement of the blood.
Prolonged periods of standing or sitting without movement place a heavy strain on the veins. Without the massaging action of the muscles, the blood tends to stagnate. The weight of blood continually pressing downward against the closed venous valves causes the veins to distend; after time, they lose their natural elasticity. When a number of valves no longer function efficiently, the blood collects in the veins, causing them to become swollen and distended.
During pregnancy, more upward flow of the blood is required. The pregnant uterus tends to press against the veins in the legs, preventing the free flow of blood. This increased pressure can result in varicose veins.
What Is Varicose Vein Therapy?
Nonsurgical Vein Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is a nonsurgical vein treatment that is done on an outpatient basis in the Doctor's office. It eliminates the abnormal red or blue veins of varying sizes found on the legs, face, abdomen or breasts.
Virtually Pain Free: The sclerotherapy treatments, exclusively performed by Dr. Geller, consist of a series of small injections of non-saline clear solution (sotradecol). The painless injections cause veins to break down and absorb into the body. Patients experience little to no pain and have no restriction on any activity. Each treatment requires no recovery. Spider and varicose veins begin to fade within a few days to two weeks.
Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT):
Surgical procedures are no longer necessary for bulging, large varicose veins. Our practice utilizes EVLT. Endovenous Laser Ablation is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure that is performed in Dr. Geller's office and takes less than half an hour. Dr. Geller has performed over 4,000 EVLT's.
Here's what to expect from the procedure:
- Dr. Geller uses ultrasound to map the vein
- Local anesthetic is applied
- A thin laser fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point, usually near the knee
- Walking immediately after the procedure is encouraged and normal daily activity can be resumed
- Relief of painful symptoms and disappearance of treated large varicose veins
- No hospitalization
- No scars
- No sutures