Nothing that takes all the fun out of a new wardrobe like unsightly varicose and spider veins. Covering up your legs through all seasons isn’t much of a fashion statement. Yet, you’re embarrassed. What choice do you have?
If this scenario is all too familiar, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, 60% of all men and women have some form of vein disorder. The good news is - effective treatment options are available. At Premier Vein & Vascular, our board-certified interventional cardiologist and expert on vascular care, Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC, is here to help.
Think sclerotherapy. Dr. Saiyad explains how this tried-and-true vascular treatment option treats your varicose veins and spider veins, improving the aesthetic appearance of your legs and preventing potentially life-threatening circulatory complications.
Let’s describe the important role veins play in your overall health. When your veins are in great shape, they carry blood from your heart to all the organs in your body. The vein’s first job is to deliver blood back to the heart against gravity. They do this with the aid of one-way valves inside veins that keep the blood flowing in one direction. Blood pools and leaks if these valves are weak or damaged. This leakage creates the unsightly bruising or web-like appearance of vein disorders.
Spider and varicose veins are both vein disorders, but they typically appear in different places and are accompanied by various symptoms. Spider veins usually appear on feet and legs, but some patients get spider veins on their hands and face. Spider veins appear closer to the skin and look like spider webs. For the most part, spider veins usually don’t cause pain or bulge.
Like spider veins, varicose veins are usually on legs and feet, but that’s where the similarities end. Varicose veins typically cause discomfort or leg pain and a heavy, achy feeling accompanied by throbbing. With varicose veins, the skin swells and has a bulgy, knotty appearance.
Fortunately, sclerotherapy is a safe and effective treatment, and it’s considered the gold standard for addressing unsightly spider and varicose veins. During an in-office treatment, which lasts an hour or less, Dr. Saiyad uses a fine needle to inject a chemical irritant or solution directly into the affected blood vessel.
Over the next several weeks, the irritant causes the vein to shrink, collapse, and get reabsorbed into the body. Then blood naturally reroutes to more healthy veins.
Our providers may use ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy in cases where the affected vein isn’t visible or superficial veins haven’t responded well to other treatments. This treatment mirrors traditional sclerotherapy, but since the affected vein is deep and large, ultrasound imaging guides your provider to the targeted vein, allowing more strategic control of the actual injection.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy safely and effectively handles more complex cases that typically require surgery. As a bonus, it tends to trigger the residual elimination of smaller nearby varicose veins.
While sclerotherapy is an effective and long-lasting treatment option for most patients, it’s not necessarily a one-and-done solution. If the underlying condition which led to the spider or varicose veins is not addressed, our provider performs maintenance treatments as needed.
Depending on your situation, Dr. Saiyad may recommend losing weight, wearing compression stockings, or not standing or sitting for long periods to help mitigate the recurrence of varicose or spider veins.
If you’re ready to kick your varicose and spider veins to the curb, contact Premier Vein & Vascular today using our online system to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Tampa or Largo, Florida.