Wondering about the latest treatments for varicose and spider veins? Want to see if they’re right for you?

Here’s a short primer...

We know: Varicose and Spider Veins

What are varicose and spider veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels that are close to the skin’s surface and most often occur in your legs. They can be associated with the development of phlebitis (inflamed vein), ulcers, open sores or thrombosis (clot).

Spider veins occur when a small group of blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin dilate. They're most common on the face and legs and usually pose no major health threat.

What are the treatments for varicose and spider veins?

There are a number of generally very successful treatments for varicose and spider veins and new technologies have brought recent improvements.

  • Sclerotherapy is used to treat varicose veins. A solution is injected into the veins that scars the veins and closes them. Then the veins usually fade. A similar procedure called microsclerotherapy is used for spider veins. These procedures can be done in the doctor’s office without anesthesia.
  • Catheter-assisted procedures are usually used for larger varicose veins. These procedures use heat, blades or radio waves to destroy the vein and close it.
  • Stripping involves removing long veins using small incisions. Other veins in the leg will replace the work done by the vein that has been removed. This procedure can be done in the doctor’s office, but is sometimes done in the hospital.
  • Endoscopic vein surgery is used only is some cases and involves inserting a small camera into the vein and closing it.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy removes smaller varicose veins with a series of tiny skin punctures. This is an out patient procedure that requires local anesthesia.
  • Laser Surgery can be used for some leg veins and face vessels. High-intensity laser beams destroy the veins.
  • Electrodessication seals off the veins using an electric current.

What are there side effects to the treatments?

Most are temporary. They can include swelling, minor bruising, itching, redness and moderate soreness. Also, some procedures produce scarring. Be sure to ask you doctor about these issues.

What about costs?

Remember, your insurance policy will probably not cover the costs of these treatments-at least for cosmetic purposes. If you have signs and symptoms that include bleeding and swelling, then you may get coverage.

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