Venous Disease, Varicose and Spider Veins
An active lifestyle is important to most Coloradans, and our state offers plenty of opportunities for adventure. Unfortunately, venous disease can sideline you when it causes leg pain, swelling and decreased performance. Fortunately, if you suffer from venous disease, there are many ways to alleviate symptoms without a medical procedure. If medical intervention is required, however, you’ll be glad to know today’s procedures are well-tolerated and less invasive, and recovery times are shorter than ever. But how do you know which path is right for you? Dr. Pinsinski at the Artemis Colorado – Vein & Cosmetic Center can help you avoid unnecessary interventions.
How does venous disease present itself?
Venous disease presents itself in a variety of ways. Varicose veins or venous insufficiency can be defined broadly as dilated and diseased veins that result in the reversal of blood flow. They can eventually appear as visibly “ropey” varicosities, causing swelling, aching, skin changes, and possibly bleeding. Those varicosities are easy to see right on the surface since they look like ropes under your skin. This is what most people think about when they think of varicose veins.
The other kind of varicosities, however, are under the skin and can only be seen by ultrasound. The most common vein involved is called the Saphenous Vein.
Spider veins are like very tiny varicose veins at the surface of the skin. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines.
If a vein is diseased, whether you can see it or not, it can cause symptoms from the reversal of blood flow. There are simple, minimally invasive procedures to treat diseased veins. However, before undergoing any procedure, you should first try non-invasive treatment.
Non-invasive treatment is the first step in treating your vein problems. These treatments include daily exercise, weight loss, calf pump exercises such as toe lifts, and NSAIDs. In addition, wearing daily compression stockings of at least 15 mmHg is recommended to help vein symptoms( all insurance companies require 3 months of compression stocking use prior to any advanced treatments). If non-invasive treatments fail, then more advanced treatments may be necessary.
What symptoms do you have?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from venous disease and require treatment. All of the vein treatment procedures at Artemis Colorado – Vein & Cosmetic Center are minimally invasive and typically covered by your insurance carrier.
- Thrombosis (clotting)
- Edema (swelling)
- Restless legs
- Warm areas
Artemis Colorado – Vein & Cosmetic Center offers the following vein treatment procedures:
Laser ablation is often the first step to an effective treatment for vein disease. Laser ablation uses targeted laser energy to close the vein and eliminate the backward blood flow. After the treatment, the blood in the diseased vein will be diverted to normal veins in the leg.
Laser ablation relieves symptoms such as heaviness, aching, and swelling in the legs. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, you can expect the session to last less than one hour. Our doctor administers a local anesthetic and sedation is not required. Afterward, compression hose are worn and you may return to normal activities, but not rigorous exercise until cleared by your doctor.
This is the physical removal of varicose veins that are bulging on the skin surface. A laser ablation of the saphenous vein is often followed by a micro phlebectomy to remove the remaining bulging veins. This is also considered a minimally invasive procedure and is different from “vein stripping.” The procedure requires no sedation. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area around the bulging surface veins, then sections of the diseased vein are removed. This takes 10 to 15 minutes in most cases. Afterward, compression hose are worn and you may return to normal activities, but not rigorous exercise until cleared by your doctor.
Microfoam Chemical Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
If laser ablation does not treat all symptoms in your legs, you may need more treatment with microfoam chemical ablation and/or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy. These procedures use a foam medicine that is placed inside the diseased vein to achieve closure. The procedure is simple and does not require sedation or a local anesthetic. After treatment, compression hose are worn for several days and you may return to normal activity immediately; however rigorous exercise is not recommended.
When spider veins are present we first ensure there are no underlying diseased veins that are causing the problem. Any underlying diseased veins must be treated prior to spider vein treatment to give you the highest chance for success. Depending on the spider vein, we will treat these with either a liquid medicine called a sclerosant or a laser. Overall we achieve greater than 80% improvement, however, several visits are typically required. Compression hose are worn after the procedure for several days. Spider vein treatments are considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.
Unattractive, painful, annoying…
Varicose veins are not only unattractive, they can cause discomfort or pain and affect daily activities. Spider veins are the annoying little relatives of varicose veins that tend to appear all over the legs. While they don’t always cause physical pain, they can definitely hinder how you choose your wardrobe. Don’t wait any longer, come in for a consultation and we’ll discuss your options.