Spider Veins & Varicose Veins Treatment
If you have varicose veins or spider veins, you’re not alone. Up to 60 percent of women and men suffer from vein disorders. Some people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons, while others seek relief from the pain and discomfort their vein problem causes.
The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Comprehensive Vein Clinic specializes in the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins.
Varicose veins form when valves in the vein become weak and don’t close properly. Veins can become bulged with pools of blood when they fail to circulate blood properly. These visible and bulging veins are often associated with symptoms such as tired, heavy or aching limbs. In severe cases, varicose veins can rupture, or open sores (ulcers) can form on the skin. Varicose veins are most common in the legs and thighs.
Spider veins appear on the surface of the skin. They may look like short, fine lines, “starburst” clusters or a web-like maze. Spider veins are most common in the thighs, ankles and feet, and may also appear on the face. They may itch, burn or ache, and can be found alone or in combination with varicose veins. Causes of spider veins include genetics (many women with spider veins have mothers and/or female relatives with spider veins), pregnancy, prolonged standing and sitting, injury and high pressure from varicose veins. Spider veins are often a cosmetic vs. a health concern.
While spider veins and varicose veins occur in men and women, women experience these vein disorders more often. Estrogen, a female hormone, plays a role in the development of spider and varicose veins.
Patients with spider veins and varicose veins often have other health problems in addition to their vein disorder, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Our team of physicians works closely with a variety of specialists at Froedtert & the Medical College and with patients’ physicians to ensure coordinated care.
Sclerotherapy to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins
Interventional radiologists can treat varicose veins using sclerotherapy (injecting a solution into the veins to irritate the lining of the veins, causing them to contract and collapse), microphlebectomy (making tiny incisions in the skin through which the veins are removed) and laser ablation (using laser energy inside a faulty vein to seal it closed, allowing the blood to be diverted to other normal veins).