Patient Resource

Varicose Veins or Spider Veins?

The difference between Varicose and Spider Veins is quite significant and their treatments are too! Both varicose veins and spider veins are insufficiencies of the venous system, that is, inability of the veins to push blood back up to the heart. One is generally quite small and appear reddish blue in colour, and the other is often quite raised and protruding.

What Are Varicose Veins

Normally, veins in the leg return blood to the heart by the pumping action of the muscles when a person walks. One-way valves prevent reflux of blood back into the legs. Veins become less elastic and the valves can begin to malfunction. When this happens, the veins can take on a ropey appearance that can be unsightly and cause pain and discomfort. Standing and walking may become uncomfortable. This can even progress to leg ulcers and blood clots.
Varicose veins are a larger, more serious problem from venous insufficiencies.

What are Spider Veins

Spider veins, on the other hand. are Small, dilated, thread-like superficial veins on the legs. They are generally red or blue in appearance. Spider veins are really only a cosmetic problem, as they don’t provide much of a problem to the health and well-being of an individual.

Treatment for Varicose Veins

Endovenous laser ablation is a less invasive alternative to standard vein stripping for patients suffering from varicose veins. The procedure uses the heat energy from a laser sourse and treats the vein(s) from the inside to seal the afflicted vein(s). Local anesthesia is all that is required. ClariVein is the most current type Endovenous Laser Ablation.

Clarivein has many advantages over existing techniques including:
– It is an effective and safe technique with no pain
– there is minimal discomfort and bruising
– there is no risk of thermal (heat) damage as there would be from techniques such as laser or radio frequently ablation
– there is no risk of nerve or skin damage
– multiple injections not required (no tumescent aesthetic is required)
– no admission into hospital
– return to normal activities immediately

A compression stocking must be worn after the varicose veins cosmetic surgery to help reduce bruising, tenderness, and the slim possibility of forming blood clots. Normal activity can be resumed that day after both varicose veins procedures, with the exception of lifting heavy objects or prolonged sitting.

Treatment for Spider Veins

The most effective treatment for veins on the legs is Sclerotherapy. It is a non-surgical procedure, that It involves a number of injections into the spider veins with a substance that helps irritate the vein wall causing the vein to collapse.
The needle that is used is tiny, and no anaesthetic is required.
Sclerotherapy may take several sessions which are 30-45 minutes in length depending on the number of areas being treated. Multiple veins can be injected in one session but each spider vein may require several injections given some weeks apart. One leg is usually treated per session.

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