Varicose and Spider Vein Specialists: How Garden State Pain & Orthopedics Treats Vein Conditions

May 01, 2023

Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Spider veins and varicose veins are common conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Both of these conditions are related to the blood vessels in the body and can cause discomfort and pain.

What are spider veins? 

Spider veins, also known as telangiectasias, are small, thin veins that appear on the surface of the skin. They are usually red, blue, or purple in color and can be seen on the legs, face, and other parts of the body. Spider veins are caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins that allow blood to flow backward and accumulate in the veins. 

What causes spider veins? 

Spider veins are extremely common and can occur in anyone, but tend to occur more frequently in women experiencing hormonal changes. However it is important to note that anyone can experience spider veins regardless of gender or age. Risk factors for spider veins include include:

  • Family history: If your parents or grandparents have spider veins, you are more likely to develop them as well.
  • Age: As you get older, the valves in your veins can become weaker, making it easier for blood to pool and form spider veins.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can increase the risk of developing spider veins.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can put pressure on the veins in your legs and increase the risk of developing spider veins.
  • Prolonged sitting or standing: Sitting or standing for long periods of time can increase the pressure on the veins in your legs, making it easier for spider veins to form.
  • Sun exposure: Sun exposure can cause spider veins to develop on the face, particularly in fair-skinned individuals.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins, on the other hand, are larger, bulging veins that are often twisted or rope-like in appearance. They can be blue or purple in color and are most commonly found on the legs. Varicose veins are caused by the same underlying issue as spider veins: weak or damaged valves in the veins that allow blood to flow backward and accumulate in the veins. However, varicose veins are more severe and can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.

What causes varicose veins?

Family history, age, hormonal changes, pregnancy, obesity, and prolonged sitting can also cause varicose veins. In addition, if you have weak or damaged valves, or blot clots you have an increased risk of experiencing varicose veins. 

When should I get my spider or varicose veins checked?

Both spider veins and varicose veins are more common in women than men and are often considered a cosmetic issue. However, if left untreated, they can lead to more serious health problems, such as blood clots, skin ulcers, and bleeding.

You should consider getting your varicose veins checked if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort in your legs
  • Swelling in your legs or ankles
  • Aching or cramping in your legs
  • Itching or burning around the affected veins
  • Skin discoloration or texture changes around the affected veins
  • Bleeding from the affected veins
  • Ulcers or open sores on your legs
  • If you have a family history of varicose veins, or if you are pregnant, overweight, or spend long periods of time standing or sitting, it's a good idea to get your veins checked as well, even if you are not currently experiencing any symptoms.

If you are concerned about your varicose veins, you should schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider who can evaluate your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes, compression stockings, or medical procedures to treat your varicose veins.

How do you treat varicose veins?

Treatment options for spider veins and varicose veins vary depending on the severity of the condition. For spider veins, treatment options may include sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution into the veins to cause them to collapse and fade away. Laser therapy is another option, which uses intense light to damage the veins and cause them to disappear. For varicose veins, treatment options may include vein stripping, which involves surgically removing the affected veins, or endovenous laser treatment, which uses laser energy to seal the veins shut. At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we focus on minimally invasive treatments that are less painful and provide a faster recovery than traditional treatments.

In the past, varicose vein treatment involved surgery under general anesthesia that required sutures, and a lengthy recovery. At Garden State Pain & Orthopedics, the team relies on the Varicose vein treatments available, including sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation therapy (ELAT), and radiofrequency ablation. 

  • Sclerotherapy treats varicose veins by injecting a concentrated saline solution directly into the problem vein, which causes it to disappear over three to six weeks.  
  • ELAT - During this procedure, your provider inserts a small laser fiber into your varicose vein and uses pulses of laser light to collapse the vein
  • Radiofrequency ablation - This treatment involves ultrasound imaging that guides a thin catheter into your varicose vein. Once in place, your provider delivers electricity to heat the wall of your vein, causing it to shrink and collapse. The process for treating varicose veins with Venefit is similar to traditional RFA and usually takes between 45-60 minutes. After having radiofrequency ablation with Venefit, you can return to normal activities immediately but wear compression stockings for two weeks to prevent the formation of small clots and guarantee the best cosmetic outcome possible. Treating veins with radiofrequency ablation provides dramatic improvements within a few days, though it can take some time for the vein itself to fully disappear depending on its severity. 

Are spider veins treated the same way as varicose veins?

Spider veins can also be treated with sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, however they can also be treated with VenaSeal. This treatment uses a specially formulated medical adhesive to close your diseased vein. Once your provider treats your spider vein, your body absorbs it, and your blood flow reroutes to healthier, stronger veins. 

Is there any way to prevent varicose veins?

In addition to these medical treatments, there are also lifestyle changes that can help prevent spider veins and varicose veins from developing or worsening. These include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, and wearing compression stockings.

Spider veins and varicose veins are common conditions that affect many people. While they are often considered a cosmetic issue, they can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. Garden State Pain and Orthopedics specializes in vein treatment. If you are interested in learning more about our treatments visit our Services page or select “Book Now” to schedule an appointment.