1. What Are the Best Treatments for Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins were once routinely treated with surgery. But in recent decades, minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have largely replaced surgery. Now, phlebectomy is reserved for a small number of patients who have blood clots or tortuosity that makes their veins unnavigable with treatment devices. The best treatment depends on your medical history, symptoms, vasculature, and preferences. Book an appointment with our New Jersey vein specialists to discuss your options.
Our most common methods include sclerotherapy (Varithena), radiofrequency ablation (ClosureFast), mechanochemical ablation (ClariVein), and vein adhesives (VenaSeal). They each close the vein off inside the body, rather than surgically extracting it. Varithena closes it with an injection of a sclerosant. ClosureFast applies heat to the vein. ClariVein injects a sclerosant, and the injection device rotates to disrupt the vein’s walls. VenaSeal injects cyanoacrylate glue into the vein. Each procedure is performed in our office without anesthesia in about 15 to 30 minutes. You can walk afterward and even return to work. Many patients drive themselves to and from minimally invasive vein treatments.
2. What Are the Top Treatments for Spider Veins?
Spider veins are easy to resolve with the latest vein treatments. They don’t require surgery. Many vein specialists believe sclerotherapy is the best procedure for spider veins. It’s a quick injection of a sclerosant, which acts like a detergent that intentionally irritates the vein’s walls. You won’t feel any discomfort, and you’ll be done within minutes. Since this procedure is non-thermal and non-surgical, you won’t need local, spinal, or general anesthesia. The vein doctor will cleanse the skin above the vein, apply a numbing cream if needed, and insert a hollow needle into the vein. They’ll inject the sclerosing solution, and then you’re done! Other options for spider veins include VenaSeal and laser treatments.
3. Can You Prevent Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?
You can’t prevent varicose veins and spider veins completely. They’re common, especially in women over 40. They run in families. Hormones also impact their development. But there are factors you can control. Maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle. Take breaks to move around if your job requires long periods of sitting or standing. Elevate your legs while you’re resting. Talk to your doctor about non-hormonal birth control and menopause treatments. Most importantly, see a vein doctor for a vascular analysis. Our vein centers offer vein mapping tests, which can detect problems in deeper veins before they cause damage at the surface.
4. How Do Vein Doctors Treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
One of the main reasons to choose a board certified vein doctor over a cosmetic vein specialist is that doctors will check for Chronic Venous Insufficiency. This common, underdiagnosed disease is the cause of most spider veins and varicose veins that develop in the leg veins. These veins must pump blood from the feet to the heart. They rely on valves to close inside the veins once blood flows through to keep it moving toward the heart. When valves fail, blood flows in reverse, which builds pressure in the vein. That pressure is what causes bulging, twisted varicose veins and new branches of spider veins.
If you don’t treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency, then as the disease’s name suggests, you might have a chronic proliferation of spider veins, varicose veins, and bothersome symptoms. Vein doctors treat it with quick, gentle, ultrasound-guided procedures, since the problem originates in deeper veins that aren’t visible through the skin. Our Harvard-trained vein specialists can treat it during the same appointment that we treat your visible vein damage.
5. Once Doctors Remove Leg Veins, Where Does Blood Flow?
It might sound serious to close off a vein. You might be wondering where blood flows once those treated veins are sealed. While the procedure does require precision and expertise for your safety, the human body has many miles of blood vessels. Varicose veins and spider veins don’t pump blood efficiently to the heart. So, removing them enables blood to flow into healthy veins nearby that return it to the heart.
It’s not the same as removing a vital artery. Damaged, superficial veins are not necessary for circulation. Spider veins are essentially dead ends. They don’t lead back to the heart. Varicose veins collect blood, which slows circulation. You will feel much better once those bothersome veins are gone. They can cause cramping, swelling, heaviness, itching, restlessness, and pain in the legs. Once they’re closed off, you’ll enjoy your skin’s appearance more, as well as your symptom-free circulatory system.
6. Can You Wear Compression Stockings Instead of Treatment?
Compression stockings can reduce the symptoms mentioned above in some patients. But some patients get no symptom relief. Compression therapy isn’t safe for everyone, and it requires a vein doctor’s guidance so that you don’t put insufficient or excessive pressure on your veins. Only a vein treatment can fully eliminate a varicose vein or spider vein. Treatment is also required to address underlying causes, including Chronic Venous Insufficiency. If you don’t treat that, more vein damage will likely accumulate. Compression stockings are often a long-term commitment, whereas vein treatments can be done within a lunch break. Consult your vein doctor to learn whether compression would benefit you. For many patients, the best use of these stockings is to encourage blood flow for the first 24 hours after vein treatment.
7. What Are the Risk Factors If You Ignore Venous Disease?
If you ignore vein damage and venous disease, there are several risk factors to consider. Some patients’ veins will remain asymptomatic. But others develop any combination of swelling, cramping, restlessness, and heaviness in their legs, along with slow-healing venous ulcerations, venous stasis dermatitis, profuse bleeding, hyperpigmentation, or blood clots. The most dangerous risk with untreated veins is that there’s an undetected blood clot in a deeper vein (deep vein thrombosis). If that clot breaks loose, it can travel through the vein and block a vital artery near the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism, and it’s life-threatening. If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, or a cough, go to the emergency room.
8. Who Are the Best Minimally Invasive Vein Specialists?
We hope this list of common vein treatment questions and answers provided you with some insight. But the best thing you can do is visit a minimally invasive vein specialist for an individualized assessment. Our New Jersey vein doctors love explaining the vascular system and the cutting-edge ways we treat it. If you want exceptional treatments for varicose veins and spider veins, visit Dr. Mitchell Karmel, Dr. Todd Kobrinski, Dr, Jeffrey Deygoo, or Dr. Andrew Cortes. We have convenient vein center locations in West Orange, Woodland Park, Scotch Plains, Clifton, Paramus, and Woodbridge, New Jersey.