Vein Removal

Vein Removal

What are
spider veins?

Spider veins are caused by the dilation of a small group of veins near the skin’s
surface. They often occur on the face and legs. They look like red or purple sunbursts
or web patterns. They are more common in women.

What are
varicose veins?

Varicose veins are swollen or enlarged veins. They most often appear on the thighs,
the
backs and fronts of the calves, or near the ankles and feet. The veins have enlarged
due to a weakening or damage in the vein valves. They are found deeper in the skin
than
spider veins. They may be raised, bulging, or twisted. They are often are blue, red,
or
flesh colored. If you have varicose veins, your legs may feel tired, heavy, or achy
after sitting or standing for a long time. They may feel better when you put your
legs
up.

Varicose veins can be serious because they may be painful. They may also be linked with
health problems such as:

  • Phlebitis. This is
    inflammation of the vein.

  • Thromboses. This occurs
    when blood clots form in the enlarged vein.

  • Venous stasis ulcers. An
    ulcer is formed when there is not normal drainage in the enlarged vein.

The
exact causes for varicose and spider veins are unknown. But pregnancy, heredity,
obesity, standing for a long time, increased age, heavy lifting, and hormonal changes
may all be causes.

Treatment
for spider and varicose veins

Treatment may include:

  • Compression therapy.
    Wearing compression stocking can help the symptoms of varicose veins.

  • Sclerotherapy. This
    procedure involves the injection of a concentrated saline or specially-developed
    solution into the spider or small varicose vein. The solution irritates the inside
    of the vein and over time the vein will collapse and fade. Healthier blood vessels
    located nearby absorb the blood flow of the collapsed vein.

  • Ambulatory phlebectomy.

    This involves the removal of the vein by tiny punctures or incisions along
    the path of the enlarged vein. Through these tiny holes, the surgeon uses a
    surgical hook to remove the varicose vein.

  • Electrodesiccation. This
    involves the sealing of the veins with the use of an electrical current.

  • Laser surgery and intense
    pulsed light therapy.
    Abnormal veins are destroyed by high-intensity laser
    beams or intense pulsating light.

  • Surgical ligation and
    stripping.
    This procedure involves the surgeon making an incision in the
    skin and removing or tying off the blood vessel. This procedure is done for severe
    cases of varicose veins.

  • Intravascular laser or radiofrequency
    ablation.
    A laser fiber or radiofrequency catheter is put into the abnormal
    vein. The vein is then sealed shut by thermal energy

Possible
complications of treatment for spider or varicose veins

Possible complications include:

  • Changes in skin color.

    Brownish splotches near the treated area may appear, and may take several
    months (or even up to a year) to fade.

  • Allergic reaction and
    scarring.
    Allergic reactions from the injected chemical solution, as well
    as skin injury and permanent scarring, may result.

  • Telangiectatic matting.

    This reaction involves the appearance of fine, reddish blood vessels near the
    treated area. Treatment for this condition may require further injections.

  • Blood clots. Treatment
    could cause blood clots in the veins.

Who might
have sclerotherapy?

Women and men of any age may be candidates for sclerotherapy, but most are 30 to 60
years in age. Spider veins are more common in women. Men do have spider veins, but
often
do not consider them to be a cosmetic problem because the veins are usually concealed
by
hair on the leg.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should postpone sclerotherapy treatment. Further,
it is
not known how sclerosing solutions may affect breast milk.

Before the
procedure

The
surgery may be done in any of these places:

  • Surgeon’s office
  • Surgery center as an outpatient
  • Hospital as an outpatient or inpatient

You may be given local anesthesia with IV sedation. You may have
epidural or spinal anesthesia. Or you may have general anesthesia.

After the procedure

A compression bandage may be put on the treated area. You may be
advised to wear support hose for days or longer.