Advanced Treatment for Spider Veins
Varicose and spider veins are often considered to be unsightly or embarrassing, and this can take away from your quality of life – especially when you pass on wearing skirts and/or shorts because you’d rather hide the enlarged veins.
What you need to know is that help is available!
When you come see us here at Omega Medical Group, we can provide effective treatment to resolve your spider veins problem. And that means you can go back to wearing what you want, without feeling self-conscious or embarrassed!
We’re going to talk today about a specific treatment that could be the right option for you, along with offering some tips that can lower your risk of having spider veins in the first place.
What Are Spider Veins?
To understand spider veins, let’s start with a quick look at varicose veins.
The most observable sign a vein has become varicose is an enlarged and gnarled appearance. This happens when tiny valves in the vein—ones that are usually responsible for preventing blood from flowing backwards—begin to fail.
As a result of this valve failure, blood begins to pool within the affected vein. In turn, it causes the vein to twist and bulge.
Now, this relates closely to spider veins. In fact, it’s basically the same situation – the only difference is the kind of blood vessel affected.
Whereas veins can become varicose, spider veins are actually capillaries that have become flooded.
Since capillaries tend to be smaller than veins, spider veins are generally thinner than most cases of varicose veins.
In both cases, the unusual appearance is typically harmless from a health standpoint, and can be thought of as being a mostly superficial issue.
Why Do Varicose and Spider Veins Develop?
We’ve already discussed what happens to cause the development of varicose and spider veins in a general sense, but there are more specific root causes that contribute to the problem.
Even though these issues are often thought of as being more of a female problem, any person who has veins can technically experience them. That said, certain demographics and situations are more likely to be affected than others.
Specific factors that contribute to increased risk include:
- Gender. The reason varicose and spider veins are more commonly associated with women is because females develop them with greater frequency. A possible reason for this can be linked to hormonal factors, and particularly hormone changes and fluctuations accompanying pre-menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause – situations men don’t normally experience! Since female hormones may relax vein walls, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy further increase the likelihood for some women.
- Age. As we become older, the probability of vein becoming varicose or development of spider veins increase. This can be attributed to years of wear and tear on those valves which are responsible for regulating blood flow within blood vessels.
- Family history. Some experts in the medical community theorize that a genetic component could be at play. The reason for this theorization is the fact that having a family member who has—or had—varicose or spider veins means it’s more likely that you also will at some point.
- Obesity. When increased weight gain leads to an unhealthy bodyweight, extra pressure is placed on the body’s blood vessels – and this contributes to these conditions.
- Being sedentary. One of the keys for preventing blood from pooling within veins and capillaries is to move around on a regular basis. Sitting or standing in place for extended periods of time does not promote the healthy blood flow to prevent pooling.
How Can Varicose and Spider Veins Be Treated?
With regards to treating varicose and spider veins, you may want to start with some home care methods to see if you are able to find improvement on your own before contacting us.
If this is something you feel is worth exploring, you can try things like avoiding constrictive clothing, elevating your legs periodically, losing weight (with a healthy weight loss plan!), exercising more often, and simply not sitting or standing in one spot for prolonged periods.
Another option you might want to consider is wearing compression stockings.
Compression stockings are intended to be worn all day and assist with the problem by placing constant pressure on your lower limbs. In doing so, the stockings assist your leg muscles and veins in moving blood pack up to the heart.
Now, before you pick up compression stockings, you should come in and see us first. These stockings offer various levels of compression—depending on the type and brand you find—and we can help direct you to a pair that would be best for you specifically.
When home care doesn’t provide the results you hope to see, it’s time to call our office and request an appointment for professional care!
The good news is that professional treatment for spider and varicose veins is usually not invasive in nature.
Options that work for some people—remember, not all methods are going to be equally effective for all patients—include:
- Sclerotherapy. Affected veins are injected with a solution—including one we will discuss momentarily—that closes them. This is a highly-effective procedure that is performed in-office.
- Vein stripping. With this procedure, we carefully remove a long blood vessel. Vein stripping is performed on an outpatient basis.
- Catheter-assisted procedures. Sometimes, varicose and spider veins are treated with a catheter – which is a thin tube inserted into an enlarged vessel. Once in, the tip is heated and then the tube is pulled out. By doing this, the vein is sealed shut.
With regards to sclerotherapy specifically, a product we are proud to offer at Omega Medial Group is Asclera® – an injectable, prescription medication that intentionally damages the cells (endothelium) lining the inside of blood vessels.
By damaging the endothelium, cellular debris and blood platelets attach to the lining of affected blood vessels, which in turn causes them to clot. Over time, your body naturally replaces the clotted vein with tissue.
Asclera® can be used for cases of uncomplicated spider veins (those less than one millimeter in diameter) and uncomplicated reticular veins (varicose veins between one and three millimeters in diameter).
(At this time, Asclera® has not been studied for treatment of varicose veins that exceed three millimeters in diameter.)
For this in-office procedure, you can expect the session to last between 15-45 minutes. During the session, multiple injections are usually administered in “per inch” increments.
Following your treatment session, compression stockings should be worn continuously for the first couple of days, and then during the daytime for the next 2-3 weeks. Additionally, you will also need to avoid sunbathing, heavy exercise, saunas or hot baths, and long plane flights for the two or three days following treatment.
Depending on your case, we may need to provide repeat sessions – and these are usually separated by 1-2 weeks.
As with other medicinal approaches to treatment, there are some possible side effects and this is not a recommended procedure for every patient (particularly those who have a known allergy to polidocanol, are pregnant or nursing, or have an acute vein or blood-clotting disease).
For more information about spider vein and varicose vein treatments, simply contact our office and a team member will be happy to help!
Are There Ways to Prevent Spider Veins?
It might not be possible to completely eliminate all risks of developing a case of varicose veins, but there are certainly steps to lower the odds.
These do not require tremendous amounts of effort or money and, even better, are helpful in the prevention of a range of other potential foot and ankle conditions and problems.
Measures you can take to reduce your risk include healthy lifestyle choices like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, eating a low-sodium diet, moving throughout the day, and avoiding tight hosiery and high heels.
First-Class Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment in Miami
The preventative measures—which you likely noticed are similar to at-home care—can certainly lower your risk of developing a spider or varicose vein. At the same time, however, it is virtually impossible to completely eliminate all risk.
The good news is Omega Medical Group has been able to help many patients who previously had this problem – and we can provide the same kinds of treatment for you!
Patients from across the greater Miami-Dade County seek treatment at our Miami Shores and North Miami Beach offices for a simple reason – they know we provide effective, comprehensive services to resolve problems in the lower limbs. If you are experiencing any health issue in your feet or ankles, we are here for you!
Contact us today for more information—or to request an appointment with either office—by calling (305) 514-0404.