With very little attention from us, healthy veins work hard to keep us alive and kicking. They perform one of many critical functions of the cardiovascular system, specifically, returning blood to the heart to get the oxygen and nutrients the body needs. For many of us, it’s only when something goes wrong with our veins—especially if it causes us pain or embarrassment—that we appreciate how important veins are to our health.
The most common conditions are spider and varicose veins, both of which can be visually unpleasant and quite painful. But you can get help. Whether you want to soothe the swelling or simply improve your looks, there are a variety of treatments available for varicose and spider veins. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions to provide you with a good understanding of different vein conditions and treatment options.
- What are varicose veins and spider veins?
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, and enlarged veins that you can see under the skin. They are often red or blue in color. The veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That’s because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in these veins.
Spider veins are very small pink or purple vessels that appear like webs or threads just under the surface of the skin. They are similar to varicose veins, but they’re smaller. They are found closer to the skin’s surface, occur on the legs, but can also be found on the face.
For many people, varicose veins and spider veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes varicose veins lead to more-serious problems and at times may signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems.
- Which treatments are available for varicose veins and spider veins?
At Persona we offer three treatments, each of which designed to treat a specific type of vein condition. Laser therapy for spider veins, sclerotherapy for varicose veins, and vein surgery for thicker & painful varicose veins.
- How does laser vein therapy for spider veins work?
Spider veins can be treated effectively with lasers, especially on the face, where the veins are small and too close to the skin’s surface. Lasers destroy the targeted veins without damaging surrounding tissues. Laser treatments are performed on an outpatient basis and usually take from 15 minutes to an hour. You may require more than one treatment. Although laser treatments do not prevent new veins from forming, they are a very effective treatment that usually produces few, if any, side effects.
- What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is the injection of a liquid solution to shrink the vein until it eventually disappears. It is primarily used to treat smaller varicose veins. Sclerotherapy can require multiple treatments every four to six weeks to eliminate the problem veins. There is some risk of stinging and redness at the site of the injection as well as light bruising and swelling, but in most cases patients can return to their normal activities immediately after the 20 to 30 minute procedure.
- When will I need surgery to remove my veins?
Surgery, or Vein Stripping, still has a place in the modern treatment of varicose veins, it is still often the best option for the largest, most painful varicose veins which will be completely removed. Surgery will not help thread or spider veins which are found within the most superficial layers of the skin itself and cannot be physically removed.
Vein stripping is most often done on an outpatient basis and takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. This procedure, where the surgeon completely removes the problematic veins, is done under general anaesthesia.
- What can I do to prevent varicose and spider veins?
Vein stripping is a surgical procedure to remove varicose veins in the legs.It is still the best option for the larger, twisted, more painful varicose veins. Surgery will not help thread or spider veins which are found within the most superficial layers of the skin itself and cannot be physically removed. Vein stripping is usually performed under general anaesthesia by a general surgeon as a day case.
Once varicose or spider veins have developed, the body is unable to reverse their appearance. However, there are ways to limit their development and simple steps that you can take to alleviate symptoms that include:
- Regular exercise to promote healthy circulation
- Avoid wearing high heels, go for low heeled shoes help promote good blood flow
- Wear sunscreen to prevent spider veins from forming on the face
- Try not to restrict blood flow, either by crossing your legs or wearing tight restricting clothes
To determine which vein treatment is the right one for you, it is best to request a consultation with one of our specialised surgeons.