Spider vein is the common term for blue or purple-colored veins that occur under the skin but are close enough to be seen on the surface. While spider veins rarely indicate a serious condition, they can be a cosmetic nuisance and sometimes are an indication of early stage venous disease. Treating them not only can improve appearance but can help stop the progression of venous disease.
Varicose veins are visible veins in the leg that bulge, often protruding through the skin. They are the result of venous insufficiency: blood that pools in the vein because of a faulty valve and causes the protrusion. Varicose veins are a symptom of early stage venous disease. Untreated, they can lead to increased symptoms and worsening appearance. They can be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, including swelling, heaviness in the leg, staining of the skin, itching skin, and leg ulcers. That is why it is best to address venous conditions early on, to ensure more effective treatment options are available.
It is critical that venous disorders be treated appropriately by a vein specialist (also called a phlebologist). During an initial visit to the Locastro Vein Center, Dr. Locastro will use "ultrasound mapping" to diagnose the patient. Ultrasound mapping uses high-frequency sound waves to create images that form a map of the venous system. This map is used to determine the individual's pattern of diseased veins and to identify the source of insufficiency so effective treatment can begin.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) involves nothing more than laser energy, a local anesthetic and 1-2 hours out of your day. When you choose EVLT, the area around the affected vein is numbed with a local anesthetic, and a small catheter (about the size of an IV needle) is inserted into the vein. A laser fiber is guided through the catheter into the varicose vein, and as the laser is slowly removed, it gives off heat energy, which damages the walls of the vein. This induces the vein walls to collapse, and the heat from the laser seals it closed. The blood flowing through that vein is naturally rerouted to a normal, healthy vein, and the now collapsed varicose vein is reabsorbed by body, eliminating it permanently.
Ambulatory phlebectomy is a minimally invasive out-patient procedure used to treat varicose veins that are too large to be effectively treated with sclerotherapy. Ambulatory phlebectomy involves removing the vein through micro punctures in the skin. The defective vein is pulled to the surface of the skin and out of the leg through these small openings. Blood is diverted to the many other healthy veins in the leg; there is no ill effect from the loss of the vein.
This procedure lasts one to two hours and is performed under local anesthesia. No stitches are necessary in most instances, and the micro punctures are nearly imperceptible. Following the procedure, a bandage or compression stocking is worn for a short period of time, and patients can resume activity immediately and return to their daily routine.
Sclerotherapy is a nonsurgical procedure used to treat veins just below the skin's surface that are either invisible or difficult to see with the naked eye. In this procedure, a small needle provides access to the vein so a medicine called a sclerosing agent can be injected into the vein's interior wall. This substance causes the vein to become sticky and seal shut, allowing the vein to disappear. Blood then finds a healthy path back to the heart. There is little risk of complication, and patients often experience an immediate relief of symptoms.
If you have varicose veins that are unsightly and cause you discomfort, it may be time to explore your treatment options at Locastro Vein Center. Call our office today at 315-685-7943 to schedule a consultation.