How Did I Get These Unsightly Veins?
Spider Veins are often cosmetic in nature, appearing as thread-like (1mm or less) red, blue or purplish veins and commonly found on calves, thighs, and ankles. Spider veins may be associated with “feeder veins” or larger underlying varicose veins. Clusters of spider veins, especially around the ankles, can be a symptom of a deeper venous problem, so an examination is recommended.
Varicose Veins are swollen or enlarged veins that are caused by weakened or even damaged vein valves. Contributing factors in the development of varicose veins and spider veins include pregnancy, heredity, increased age, prolonged standing, heavy lifting, and hormonal changes. It is important to note that varicose veins may be associated with the development of other vein diseases that can be serious health issues. Thrombosis is one such problem that can occur when blood clots form in an enlarged vein. Venous Stasis ulcers can also occur when there is no proper drainage in the enlarged veins. With just this much information, it is easy to see that proper care for your veins is critical!
What Treatments Are Available?
Treatments for spider and varicose veins can range from the simple to the more complex. At Albuquerque Vein and Laser Institute, our treatments include:
- EndoVenus Laser Treatment – A minimally-invasive laser treatment used to “close” certain diseased veins that are seen only by ultrasound. A long thin laser fiber is passed up inside the length of the vein to be treated, burning and closing the vein. The treated vein is then left in place and it disappears on its own over the course of 6-12 months
- Endovenous Chemical Ablation – Also known as ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, this procedure targets and eliminates varicose veins that are hidden from the naked eye and only seen by ultrasound. Here, a chemical irritant, called a sclerosant, is injected into the vein while Dr. Cutchen observes the injection process on the ultrasound screen. The sclerosant damages the lining of the vein wall collapses the vein and eventually leads to the body reabsorbing the destroyed vein
- Ambulatory Phlebectomy – Ambulatory Phlebectomy, Micro-phlebectomy, or “hook” phlebectomy, is a micro-extraction procedure used to remove visible bulging varicose veins, both large and small, that are close to the surface through very small (1/16 – 1/8 inch) micro-incisions.
- Sclerotherapy Injections – The gold standard in spider vein treatment, an FDA-approved solution is injected directly into the vein via a tiny needle. The sclerosant solution irritates the lining of the vein and causes it to collapse.
For more detailed descriptions of each of this in-office, minimally invasive procedures, just click on the links!