Varicose veins and spider veins may be unsightly, but they can affect more than just your appearance. For some, these vein issues can cause significant discomfort. Varicose veins can also put you at risk of blood clots or open sores on your lower legs.
Dr. Moeinolmolki (Dr. Moein) of Healthy Life Bariatrics in Los Angeles offers a minimally invasive treatment for ridding your legs of these unsightly veins. The treatment can also reverse symptoms such as leg pain and fatigue that often accompany varicose and spider veins. Having the treatment performed by a talented aesthetic surgeon like Dr. Moein can even prevent future leg vein complications.
Why Do These Leg Veins Become Visible?
Varicose veins and spider veins both represent veins that have become damaged. They form when one-way valves inside the veins become weak. In a healthy vein, the valves push blood in a single direction, which eventually flows back to our heart. When the valves become weak, some blood is able to flow in reverse, causing it to build up inside the vein. The extra blood forces the walls of the vein to expand. This allows the varicose or spider veins to become visible just below the skin.
Are You at Risk of Developing Varicose or Spider Veins?
If vein problems run in your family, you may be at higher risk of developing varicose or spider veins. Some people get them because they sit or stand for long periods of time, while others may find they form as a symptom of age, obesity, or pregnancy.
Spider veins are unique in that they can be caused by excessive amounts of sunlight, injury, or hormonal changes inside the body.
Do You Suffer from Vein Problems?
Vein problems can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms and side effects. Examples include a heavy sensation in your lower limbs, broken veins that are visible on the legs, difficulty sleeping due to throbbing or tingling legs, itching, burning, or restless leg syndrome. While the veins are typically found on the legs, some people may even experience varicose veins and swelling of the stomach, or even on the face.
What is the Difference Between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins tend to emerge and become visible just under the skin’s surface. Eventually, the veins bulge enough to cause pain. Even if no pain is present and you merely dislike the appearance of your veins, both conditions – varicose and spider – are best considered as medical problems that should be addressed as soon as possible.
Spider veins (telangiectasia) are mainly cosmetic and can be taken care of without issue by your cosmetic body contouring surgeon. Spider veins mimic the webs of arachnids and tend to take on the appearance of lattice-like patches of dilated veins that appear just below the skin’s surface.
It can be caused by pregnancy, obesity, hormonal changes, genetics, sun exposure, aging, and standing or sitting for extended periods of time.
Spider veins are typically harmless, though they can make you feel uncomfortable wearing leg-bearing clothing, especially if you have fair skin.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are characterized by swollen, rope-like veins that can be found on the legs, feet, and ankles. They tend to be dark blue or purple in appearance, especially if your skin is on the lighter side.
Much like spider veins, pregnancy or obesity can increase your risk of developing varicose veins, though the condition can also run in your family. Varicose veins can also occur as a condition of advanced age. Standing or sitting for long periods of time can lead to this condition, as well.
Varicose veins on their own rarely cause serious medical complications. The veins can certainly appear unsightly. They will leave you feeling self-conscious about the way you look, but varicose vein treatment can help.
What Are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are characterized by veins that appear close to the surface of the skin, usually on the legs, ankles, and occasionally on the face. There may be clusters of veins that appear like a net and they can be any shade of red, purple, or blue, which contrast greatly with the skin.
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Sclerotherapy for Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
For both types of vein problems, there is a non-surgical treatment known as sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a specialized chemical solution directly into the affected veins through a tiny plastic tube. The chemical used causes the damaged veins to become irritated and swell, which blocks blood flow to the vein. Over time, the veins will transform into scar tissue before disappearing entirely.
The sclerotherapy treatment usually takes less than an hour to complete. It begins with you lying down on the treatment table. Your surgeon will usually employ a light, local anesthetic. Your surgeon will ensure that your legs are slightly elevated before inserting a tiny catheter into one of the damaged veins. The catheter will be guided to the treatment site with the help of an HD ultrasound. When the injections are complete, you may be fitted with compression stockings that can help prevent blood from returning to the treated veins. If you have vein issues over a wider area, you may need several treatments to achieve the intended results.
You can expect to return to your normal routine within a day of your sclerotherapy treatment. The final results will be seen three weeks to three months after the treatment, whereby the veins should completely disappear.
Laser Treatments for Leg Vein Issues
Dr. Moein can also use lasers to treat varicose and spider veins. The light of the laser is directed precisely at the vein, which destroys the structure of the vein entirely without affecting the surrounding skin.
This treatment shows results immediately. In fact, some small spider veins could disappear completely with a single appointment. Larger spider veins and varicose veins may become darker with laser treatment, whereby they will usually disappear between one and three months after treatment. If the veins are large and darker in color, you may require a few more treatments before the veins disappear altogether.
After the laser treatment, you can go right back to work or otherwise continue your normal activities. You may need to wear compression stockings for a short time. You will also be advised to protect the treated area from the sun for three to four weeks. This helps to prevent dark spots from forming.
Are You a Good Candidate for Spider Vein Treatment?
To be considered for spider vein therapy, you should be in good physical condition with spider veins visible on the legs or face.
Those with blood disorders or a history of blood clots may not be recommended for surgery. You will also be denied spider vein treatment if you are pregnant, have difficulties healing, or suffer from an ailment, such as heart disease.
What is Healing and Recovery Like for Spider Vein Treatment?
Your cosmetic surgeon will give you explicit instructions for healing following your surgery. Adhere to these instructions to mitigate any issues you may experience. In the days and weeks following surgery, you may be required to wear a pair of compression stockings. These support socks are designed to enhance the flow of blood to and from the treatment area. Keeping the lower legs compressed also prevents discoloration which can sometimes appear after the area is healed.
Tell your surgeon if you experience redness or swelling with treatment, though these issues will typically resolve on their own after a few days or weeks.
Leg Vein Treatment by Spider Vein Surgeon
Dr. Moein has treated many patients who have had trouble with leg veins in the past. Today, these satisfied patients remain leg-vein-free thanks to Dr. Moein’s revolutionary treatments. If dark veins are getting you down and preventing you from wearing certain clothing, or if they are causing you pain, remedy those veins today. Contact Dr. Moein at Healthy Life Bariatrics for effective and near-painless varicose or spider vein treatment.