Vein problems can impact your appearance and your comfort. These problems occur when the veins, usually in the legs, become weakened. Varicose veins, spider veins and reticular veins can result, causing discoloration, bulging and leg discomfort. The Vein and Vascular Institute offers a variety of vein treatment options to restore vein function and improve the appearance of problem areas.
Types of Vein Problems
A number of common vein problems occur that may cause individuals to look for relief from discomfort or unattractive appearance:
- Varicose veins – Varicose veins are blood vessels that have become weakened by age, changing physical conditions such as pregnancy, by being on one’s feet for long periods of time or from obesity. The blood begins to back up behind the valves in the veins, causing enlargements, discolorations and discomfort.
- Spider veins – Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are much closer to the surface and have a finer appearance on the skin. They may be colored red or blue, spreading out in a spider-web fashion.
- Reticular veins – Reticular veins are feeder veins that may appear as a blue or purple line on the surface of the skin. These veins not only mar the appearance of skin. They also tend to bring more blood to areas that already have spider veins or varicose veins.
Options for Vein Treatment
Physicians have a variety of treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, for vein problems:
- Sclerotherapy – Conventional sclerotherapy uses strong chemical solutions that are injected into the problem vein, which closes it off. The normal blood flow then gets directed to healthier veins in the area.
- Laser therapy – Laser vein treatment uses a high-energy beam of light to close off enlarged veins, so that other veins in the area can take over for them. Laser may be done on the surface of the skin or through a catheter passed inside a problem vein.
- Radiofrequency therapy – In radiofrequency ablation, radiofrequency energy is passed through a catheter to heat and collapse a problem vein through a small incision.
- Bioadhesive therapy – New compounds are available that are injected into the problem vein to seal it off, so that surrounding veins can take over the task of providing blood flow.
- Surgery – Vein removal, often called “stripping,” uses an incision and a device to remove the problem vein from the area.
Recovery Time for Vein Treatments
The recovery time needed for vein treatment varies with each method. Some techniques, such as laser therapy or radiofrequency ablation allow walking immediately after the treatment. Invasive methods, such as vein stripping, may require 3 to 5 days of rest, with bandages left on for several weeks after the procedure. Most methods require wearing compression stocking for at least a week after treatment.
If you are troubled with bulging, uncomfortable varicose veins or smaller veins that detract from your appearance, contact Dr. Dietzek at the Vein and Vascular Institute to discuss your options for vein treatment.