Spider Veins Pittsburgh’s Leg Rejuvenation Program

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What Is a Spider Vein?

The definition of spider veins are medium size blood vessels that are dilated. Spider veins are smaller than a varicose vein, and are often closer to the surface of the skin, so are darker and more noticeable. Think of spider veins as the smaller cousins of varicose veins. These are fine networks of veins found just beneath the skin, which branch and have a weblike appearance. Once again, they’re filled with deoxygenated blood so they’ll often appear purple or blue. They can occur as a singular cluster, or can cover a large area. Most commonly found anywhere on the legs, yet can also be found around the nose and elsewhere on the face.See the picture of spider veins below:

Small red or purple veins on the legs appear for a variety of reasons.  For instance, they can form when hit or bumped, or from any trauma.

Gender plays a role. Although men can get spider veins too, women, because of their hormonal variations,have a greater risk acquiring spider veins. Pregnancy and hormone replacement therapy often make them worse.

WHAT ARE the SYMPTOMS of SPIDER VEINS?

  • Charley horses
  • Arch or calf night cramps
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Minor achiness especially during the menstrual periods
  • Tiredness of the legs
  • Itchiness
  • Leg pain

WHERE ARE SPIDER VEINS LOCATED?

Spider veins can be found on the legs, face, nose, chest, and ankles. Often thought of as an aesthetic problem, spider veins can indicate serious vein disease. Before you can even visualize it, symptoms can often be felt starting below the surface of the skin. Venous Doppler ultrasound exams is the gold standard for evaluating the presence of vein disease, and will qualify a venous problem as medically necessary or not.

Laser Spider Vein Treatment, Sclerotherapy Treatment of Spider veins and Varicose veins.

Spider veins are usually treated with laser vein treatments, sclerotherapy injections or with surgical removal of veins (phlebectomy). To help determine the best option, discuss all of these services with a vein specialist.

Before embarking on an individualized treatment program, you should first have a screening test, usually with a Doppler Ultrasound by our accredited surgical site, American College of Radiology (ACR). The screening is done by a Registered Vascular Technician (RVT) with us by calling 724-987-3220

 

WHAT IS A VARICOSE VEIN VERSUS A SPIDER VEIN?

Though people use the terms varicose veins and spider veins interchangeably, there is noteable differences. Varicose veins are the more serious of the two and lead to surgery more often. Both conditions can escalate from a mild to severe case. Varicose veins are large bulging veins that are dark purple or blue. They typically affect the leg area and are more common in women than men. People that suffer from spider veins have similar contributing factors. Genetics and the fact that at different times during a person's life, such as puberty and menopause, cause an increase in the production of hormones. This can result in a weakening of the vein walls. As we age, vein wall valves begin to fail, causing veins to stretch or break. Normally, that's where spider veins will start to form.

RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME ASSOCIATED WITH SPIDER VEINS

A variety of factors may cause restless leg syndrome and spider veins. However, in some cases, restless leg syndrome associated with spider veins may be attributed to dysfunction of leg veins. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) refers to a condition in which a person experiences unpleasant sensations in the legs when they are at rest. People with RLS may find it difficult to sit still, and they may have trouble sleeping due to the urge to move their legs. Restless leg syndrome is commonly associated with the presence of spider veins.

LOSE SPIDER VEINS OR ROSACEA IN A FLASH WITH LASER TREATMENTS SUCH AS YAG 1064, LAMPROBE OR INTENSE PULSE LIGHT THERAPY.

As we age, developing age spots, spider veins and broken capillaries can unfortunately become part of the ageing process. Even though they are unattractive natural occurrences, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with discolorations on your skin forever. One of the safest and fastest ways to rid the body of discolorations and spider veins is through the use of cosmetic laser therapy. Treatment can be done easily and quickly, with no down time. Vascular treatments target discolorations and spider veins non-invasively below the skin’s surface, while leaving outer layers of skin untouched.

Of course, that’s just one of many treatments that we offer. So, come see us for a consultation and an examination, and we’ll determine the most effective way to slay your spider veins.

An alternative to Laser Spider Vein treatment is Sclerotherapy - tiny injections of solutions into your spider veins. Our doctors perform the procedure in the office and administers the injection with a small needle and syringe. The solution sticks the veins onto themselves and causes them to absorb away, hiding their appearance.

DON'T LET SPIDER VEINS CREEP UP ON YOU

Although not as serious as varicose veins, spider veins are still unattractive and caused by malfunctioning valves that allow blood to pool and stagnate in them. However, even though they may do more aesthetic damage than anything else (and that’s bad enough), if left untreated, they can continue to deteriorate.

Furthermore, perhaps because they prevent proper circulation, spider veins may trigger Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), one symptom of which is, quite fittingly, a creepy-crawly sensation.

Among the factors that can contribute to the formation of spider veins are age, heredity, hormonal fluctuations and pregnancy. Therefore, it’s no surprise that women are not only more likely than men to develop them, but also the need to rid spider veins, otherwise known as arachno-veino-phobia (a completely original and non-technical term).

 

Spider veins are technically known as telangiectasias. They are seen as clusters of very small blood vessels, which become visible on the surface of the skin. These tiny veins are filled with deoxygenated blood, so usually have a blue or purplish color to them. They’re most commonly found on the legs, but can occur on the face as well.

 

 

Questions regarding pregnancy and varicose and spider veins:

  • If I’ve developed visible varicose veins during pregnancy, will they go away after the delivery?
  • What things can I do to stop the problem from getting worse?
  • After the pregnancy, what can I do to get rid of these unsightly veins for good?
  • Are these types of vein problems ever medically serious?

After delivery, the appearance of your leg veins will likely improve somewhat. Expect maximal improvement to occur in a 3 to 4 month time period. How much improvement you’ll see varies considerably from patient to patient. If you’ve had large varicosities in the past, have had multiple prior pregnancies, and especially if you’ve got a family history of vein problems then you may improve less than you’d like. Excess body weight also plays a large role, as this greatly increases pressure on the leg veins while standing. For similar reasons, if your work requires long periods of standing immediately after your pregnancy this could limit the improvement you’re likely to see.

Spider veins also develop in a very large number of women while they’re pregnant. Once again, this is due to an increase in pressure on the leg veins due to the weight of the developing baby. These won’t typically cause the achiness, heaviness, or pain associated with varicose veins, but their appearance is certainly unsightly. After pregnancy, you can expect partial improvement, just as with the larger varicose veins.

Follow these suggestions to ensure maximum improvement::

  • Exercise daily, focusing on exercises which activate the calf muscles. Even a brisk ten minute walk can help greatly.
  • Elevate your legs whenever possible throughout the day. Also sleep with your legs elevated about six inches above your heart. A few pillows will usually suffice.
  • Try not to sit with your legs crossed for prolonged periods.
  • When standing for long periods, be sure to take periodic breaks. With prolonged sitting, be sure to get up and move around periodically. Vary your positions throughout the day.
  • Wear quality support hose and compression stockings. These are much thicker than typical pantyhose, and can usually be purchased at medical supply stores. Avoid drugstore varieties, as these are usually of lower quality. Prescription graduated compression hose are best, as they’re designed specifically to apply pressure where it’s needed most. They’re tighter at the ankle and gradually loosen as they go up the leg, which is exactly what’s needed to help blood move back up the leg towards the heart.

To get the maximum benefits, be sure to wear your stockings daily for the months following your pregnancy. Be sure to put them on before rising out of bed, and try to keep them on all day. They might be a bit uncomfortable and nobody truly likes wearing them, but they’re the most effective non-invasive preventative measure available.

If you're carrying around too much excess weight, talk with your doctor and put together a reasonable weight loss plan. Following daily wear compression stockings, this is the best move you can make to maximize your post pregnancy improvement.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q What are spider veins?
A: Spider veins are small abnormal vessels located just under the skin.

Q: What is the procedure to remove spider veins on legs?
A: Here at Advanced Vein Center we use a variety of methods to eliminate spiders veins. The process can be done with lasers such as Diode Laser, IPL and Gentleyag. Removal of spider veins can also be done through a process called sclerotherapy.

Q: Are the results of spider vein treatment in Mars long lasting?
A: Yes and no, after many spider vein treatments, that individual vein is closed forever; however, if the underlying varicose vein condition is not addressed, more spider veins will just pop out somewhere else.

Q: Are there ways to treat spider veins permanently in Beaver, PA?
A: There are many ways to permanently treat an individual spider vein. In general vein disease is a progressive and insidious problem that keeps rearing its ugly head over and over. There are over ten miles of veins in the human body, and like whack a mole repeated sclerotherapy just chases the goal. That is why at the Advanced Vein Center we recommend a venous Doppler Exam, to evaluate the extent of the problem. This allows you to treat the underlying failed valves in the larger veins that are putting pressure on the smaller veins and blowing them out , thus removing the cause of the spider veins!

Q: Can spider veins on my face, hands, nose, legs, chest, and elsewhere be treated with Lasers?
A: Yes, at Body Beautiful Laser Medi-Spa and the Advanced Vein Center we can use lasers to treat spider veins on the face , chest, nose and elsewhere on the body with minimal discomfort and little downtime.

Q: Are spider veins painful?
A: Spider Veins are not painful because they are so small that you hardly feel them. During treatment there may be a slight pinch. What may be painful are the unseen underlying Varicose veins and reflux disease that cause spider veins to form in the first place.

Q: Is leg swelling caused by spider veins?
A: Spider veins are too small to cause noticeable changes in leg swelling; however the underlying cause, which is abnormal valves that cause varicose veins can also cause the appearance of spider veins

Q: What are some other ways to treat annoying spider veins, Cranberry Twp?
A: We provide many options in the treatment of spider veins, including: the 1064 laser, Lamprobe, IPL treatment, Asclera- liquid injectable Polidocanol or saline injection sclerotherapy, as well as foam sclerotherapy.

Q: Why does one get spider veins removed from their body?
A: Often considered an unsightly nuisance, some experts say spider veins are a miniscule drain on the vascular system (because the body doesn’t need that much pooling blood to the surface of the skin). While there is usually no medical reason to remove spider veins, if not treated, the spider veins will worsen. It's not covered by insurance if it is purely a cosmetic problem, and that is what evaluation with Ultrasound determines.

Q: When is the best time to treat spider veins?
A: You should treat your spider veins as soon as they start to annoy you! There is no point in waiting, as they will not go away on their own. Since obesity is a risk factor, after losing weight is an ideal time for the removal of spider veins.

Q: How long after childbirth should I wait to have spider veins looked at?
A: After pregnancy, wait about 6 months before having spider veins treated, until your hormones get back to normal. Pregnancy and female hormones are one of the biggest factors that cause spider veins. That is why multiple pregnancies are a main risk factor for spider veins.

Q: Am I able to treat spider veins while I am nursing?
A: For best results, it is commonly recommended that women wait several months after they finish nursing before commencing spider vein treatment. Hormonal variations and flux are the sited reason, as the veins have not finished forming yet.

Q: What is considered the best cream to treat a spider vein under the skin?
A: No effective creams are very effective to treat spider veins. Spider veins are too deep for creams to be effective.

Q: What is Asclera?
A: Asclera is a trade name for Polidocanol, an injectable irritant, used in sclerotherapy to treat varicose and spider veins. Asclera is FDA approved to treat 1mm to 3mm spider and reticular veins by damaging the inside of the small vein and causing minute fibrosis (scar tissue). Asclera is not to be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Q: What is sclerotherapy?
A: Sclerotherapy has been for many years the Gold Standard cosmetic treatment for spider veins. It entails using a tiny injection into the small abnormal red or purple spider veins just under the skin. Usually the injectable solution, or sclerosant, is a solution of saline, or salt, in varying concentrations, based on the size of the vein. This solution irritates the lining of the small spider vein and causes scar tissue or fibrosis of the vein, thus shutting it down and not allowing the blood to flow through the abnormal vessel. Blood is instead routed to healthy vessels.

Q: Do spider veins return after sclerotherapy?
A: The veins treated by Sclerotherapy are usually permanently closed and destroyed. However this doesn’t stop your body from making new ones somewhere else. Many times a cluster of spider veins was caused by an injury like being hit with a softball or banging your leg. Once these are treated, if you lack underlying vein disease your cosmetic outcome should be long lasting and very pleasing.

Q: What are the Post Op instructions after sclerotherapy?
A: After sclerotherapy you should not lift anything over 10 pounds for 3-7 days, during which time you should also wear compression stockings.

Q: What are the pros of sclerotherapy?
A: The advantages of sclerotherapy to treat vein problems include good cosmetic outcomes with little down time; Ease of scheduling sclerotherapy treatment, and more confidence in your appearance. Sclerotherapy costs about the same as Laser treatment on spider veins

Q: Are there any disadvantages to sclerotherapy?
A: No therapy is perfect, and sclerotherapy does have its cons. Bruising, skin discoloration, small ulcerations and itchiness are all possible after sclerotherapy. Discuss this with your provider prior to treatment. There is a trade off in that the higher the concentration of sclerosing agent used, the better it works, but the risk of complications also increases, too little concentration and it may not work. So your provider should be adept at considering your skin color and skin health, and also the size and depth of the vein being treated when deciding on the concentration that is best for your individual treatment plan.

Q: Is laser treatment of spider veins better than sclerotherapy?
A: Sclerotherapy has been used safely and effectively for decades; however, the future is promising for using laser surgery such as Diode Laser, IPL, Lamprobe and 1064 Gentle Yag for the removal of spider veins. It is quicker, easier, safer and about the same comfort. At Body Beautiful laser Medi-Spa, we carry each of these lasers to choose the best treatment for your leg depending on vein size and underlying factors. Often the Doppler Ultrasound scan to assess your underlying vein disease is covered by insurance and can help you make your best choice of treatment.

Q: Is laser vein treatment an effective therapy in the treatment of spider veins?
A: While laser treatment of spider veins is effective, it may take a series of treatments to accomplish your goals. You must also allow time in between treatments each time to evaluate the effectiveness of each laser spider vein treatment. Onlt then can you tell what areas remain to be treated. Reserve final judgement until healing is complete. This may take several months. Plan initially on needing multiple sessions of treatment for your spider veins. Many vein treatment providers work on only one area at a time. Each session usually lasts a predetermined amount of time. Body Beautiful Laser Medi-Spa, our sister company, delivers economical cosmetic packages for the treatment of spider vein based on your specific needs, starting with a free consultations prior to spider vein treatment. If you first become a VIP, you are eligible for huge discounts amounting to big savings! We recommend wearing compression garments following therapy with laser for veins.

Q: Are spider veins preventable?
A: Prevention is important in the care of spider veins. Vitamins to create strong blood vessels are important and include vitamin C, Zinc and Selenium. These are available at the Advanced Vein Center and Beaver Valley Foot Clinic. It is also important to avoid standing and sitting for extended periods of time, get up and move around throughout the day. Compression stocking are very helpful in promoting vein health, as is eating a healthy diet, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding trauma to the legs.

Q: What kind of doctor is the best to treat spider veins?
A: An MD, Nurse, or Physician assistant ( or a specialized podiatrist for lower legs) are considered to be the best type of provider in the treatment of spider veins. The are usually Certified or guided by a Board Certified vascular, General, or Cosmetic Surgeon. We have Board Certified Cosmetic and General surgeons on staff at Body Beautiful and Advanced Vein Center. We have highly skilled extenders with advanced training in this field who are performing these treatments daily, with many many very satisfied patients.

Q: Which spider vein treatments in Pittsburgh, PA are covered by insurance?
A: While treating underlying painful vein disease is covered by insurance when parameters are met, our Vein Centers in Butler County, PA and the Advanced Vein clinics in Allegheny County and Bridgewater offer laser spider vein therapy at very reasonable prices when not covered by insurance.You should first have your veins evaluated for medical necessity to verify that you do not have a purely cosmetic problem!