Just about everyone has heard of spider veins and varicose veins, but reticular veins? What are they? By size, reticular veins fall between the very small spider veins and larger varicose veins. And like their larger and smaller “cousins,” they can bulge and malfunction as a result of age, obesity, menopause, genetics and other factors. But what makes them different? And how are they treated?
What Are Reticular Veins?
Reticular veins are sometimes also called “feeder veins” because they often “feed” spider veins, supplying them with blood. They’re larger than spider veins – about 2-3mm in diameter – and they tend to be located a little more deeply than spider veins, which typically are located in the very superficial layers of tissue. Reticular veins often appear bluish, deep purple or even greenish, and they often form in clusters. While they may appear in different areas of the body, most reticular vein clusters show up on the inside of the ankles or thighs or on the backs of the legs.
Unlike spider veins that often cause few or no symptoms apart from their ugly appearance, reticular veins can cause aching, itching and discomfort, just like larger varicose veins. And because reticular veins supply the tinier spider veins with blood, successful treatment of spider veins often depends on having the reticular veins treated as well. In fact, many people who find their spider veins recur following treatment are surprised to learn their reticular veins may be the cause.
Treating Reticular Veins
The good news is, reticular veins usually can be treated with sclerotherapy, just like spider veins. That’s because while they’re larger than spider veins and located more deeply than their smaller counterparts, they’re still smaller than varicose veins and still readily accessible using traditional sclerotherapy techniques.
Prior to treatment, your veins will be carefully evaluated – including your spider veins, reticular veins and any varicose veins you may have. Evaluating your circulatory system and any problematic veins is an important part of making sure you get the best treatment to relieve symptoms, eliminate ugly aesthetic issues and prevent recurrence of ugly veins. And it’s also important to determine if another more serious underlying condition like deep venous insufficiency may be contributing to your diseased veins.
Once symptomatic reticular veins have been identified, they can be treated with injections of a special sclerosing solution designed to irritate vein linings so the veins close up, preventing blood from entering the veins. Instead, blood is simply rerouted to neighboring healthy veins for improved local circulation. Treatment is performed in the office on an outpatient basis so you can resume normal activities shortly afterward.
Have Your Veins Evaluated Today.
Reticular veins, varicose veins and spider veins won’t go away on their own – and without treatment, they can become much worse, especially if they’re an “early warning sign” of a more serious underlying vascular problem. The Vein & Vascular Institute is a leader in treating diseased veins, including reticular veins, and it all starts with a vein evaluation. If you have ugly veins, call the Vein & Vascular Institute at 856-309-8346 and schedule your evaluation and consultation today.