Diagnosis and Treatment
Here you can learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of spider and varicose veins at Nazareth Hospital Vein Center.
How do you get varicose veins and spider veins?
What causes spider veins and varicose veins? Faulty valves within the veins, which result in a back-up of blood. This in turn causes the veins to enlarge and become apparent on the skin. Things that put you at risk for varicose veins and spider veins include: standing or sitting for long periods of time, family history, obesity, pregnancy, hormone changes, aging and sun exposure. The back-up of blood flow is called venous insufficiency.
How do you diagnose spider and varicose veins?
At Nazareth Hospital Vein Center, we use ultrasound to diagnose venous insufficiency. Ultrasound provides a detailed look at your veins helping our physicians obtain a more complete understanding of your particular problem. Often times the source for your abnormal veins arises from a deeper venous system which is best evaluated by ultrasound. That helps our physicians get a more complete understanding of how venous insufficiency is affecting your legs. Vein disease can extend beyond the surface of your skin. It is not just about seeing ugly veins on your leg.
What are treatments for varicose veins and spider veins?
Skilled interventional radiologists at Nazareth Hospital Vein Center use laser ablation and sclerotherapy to treat varicose and spider veins. These minimally invasive techniques can be done in-office in about 45 minutes. These techniques offer fast recovery, no scarring and immediate improvement in blood flow.
What is Laser Ablation (Endovenous Laser Treatment or EVLT)?
For EVLT, your doctor uses ultrasound to map out your vein. Then the doctor applies a local anesthetic. A thin laser fiber is inserted through a tiny entry point, usually near the knee. Laser energy is delivered to seal the faulty vein. Healthy veins around the closed vein take over the normal flow of blood. The symptoms from the varicose vein improve. Usually, veins in the leg on the surface of the skin that are connected to the treated varicose vein will also shrink after treatment.
What is Sclerotherapy (Chemical endovenous ablation) Treatment?
During sclerotherapy, the physician injects a solution directly into the affected vein in your leg. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together. The same vein may need to be treated more than once.
These minimally invasive treatments are usually done every four to six weeks. You may be asked to wear gradient compression stockings after sclerotherapy to help with healing and decrease swelling.
This treatment for spider and varicose veins on the leg is very effective. Over time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view. Sclerotherapy is a well-proven procedure and has been used since the 1930s.