By Nadiv Shapira, MD, FACS, FACPh
What are Spider Veins?
Spider veins are red/purple fine lines, “starburst” clusters, or a web-like maze, near the surface of the skin, smaller than 1 millimeter in diameter.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, bulging, often twisted rope-like veins that occur on the surface of the legs and thighs.
Why We Get Varicose and Spider Veins?
All veins contain delicate leaflet-like valves that keep the blood flowing towards the heart and prevent it from flowing back towards the legs. When these valves fail, blood flows backwards, accumulates under pressure and enlarges them to become varicose veins. The high pressure within varicose veins can result in flow abnormalities within the tiny veins that lie very close to the surface of the skin, manifested as spider veins.
How We Treat Spider Veins?
Spider veins are not only a cosmetic problem. They are the visible manifestation of abnormalities in underlying veins, the reticular veins, which collect the blood from the skin and empty into larger deeper veins. To insure that spider veins do not re-occur after treatment, the abnormal reticular veins must also be treated. In First State Vein, patients are thoroughly evaluated to identify the reticular veins including ultrasound examination.
Spider veins are treated by a pain-free injection of a solution (sclerosant) which causes the veins to seal and fade (sclerotherapy). In First State Vein we use a sclerosant that contains Novocain (a local anesthetic) to minimize feeling of discomfort. We also treat the underlying feeder, the reticular veins by sclerotherapy similar to the one used for spider veins, or by a delicate procedure aimed to remove these veins, called mini-phlebectomy, which is done in the office by a certified surgeon.
How We Treat Varicose Veins?
Guided by the duplex ultrasound examination, the leaky abnormal veins are obliterated and sealed by heat emitted from a very thin laser fiber inserted through a needle, (Endo-luminal Laser Vein Ablation) Local anesthesia insures that the procedure is pain-free. The bulging, varicose veins that remain visible are removed through a few small needle holes by the Mini-phlebectomy procedure.
Oct. 1, 2012