Spider veins are a form of vein disease that don’t usually go away on their own. Although optional, spider vein treatment can be very effective in making these tiny varicose veins disappear. Several different options are available. Here’s some information about spider vein treatment from TriCity Cardiology.
Each time the heart beats, it forces blood through the circulatory system. Initially, the blood travels through arteries, which become smaller and smaller as they get farther from the heart. Eventually, the blood travels through tiny capillaries no wider than the diameter of a blood cell. These capillaries then begin to take blood back from the tissues through veins for the return journey into the heart. Spider veins form in the capillaries or other very small veins.
How Spider Veins Develop
Arteries are smooth inside, probably to prevent turbulence from the force of the blood as it moves through them with each heartbeat. Veins, however, must do their work against gravity and need help. This help is supplied through muscle contractions in the legs and through tiny flaps of tissue called valves. In the small pause between heartbeats, the valves close to prevent blood from flowing backward. If the valves fail, blood pools in the veins, which become twisted and distended.
Spider Vein Treatment: Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that can be performed in the doctor’s office. The doctor will inject a special solution into the spider vein with a tiny needle. The solution is irritating to the veins, which swell, collapse and scar together. Over time, the vein is absorbed into the surrounding tissue. The procedure usually takes only about 10 minutes for a small area. Full healing takes a few weeks. Occasionally sclerotherapy can cause minimal bruising or swelling.
Spider Vein Treatment: Transdermal Laser Therapy
Lasers work by applying brief bursts of intense light and/or heat to the area being treated. Transdermal laser therapy is the use of a special hand-held device that is passed over the spider vein. Also called pulsed light therapy, transdermal laser therapy is non-invasive and can be performed in the office. The light beam heats the spider veins from the inside, causing them to collapse and dissolve. The veins are then absorbed through the body over time.
Spider Vein Treatment: Recovery
Both sclerotherapy and transdermal laser therapy are relatively quick procedures – usually an hour or less. Side effects are minimal, with occasional minor bruising or swelling, and you need not limit your activities afterward. In some cases, the doctor may want you to wear compression stockings if the treated veins are in the legs. If there is any discomfort, it is usually minimal, and can be managed by over the counter medications.
Spider veins are not generally considered a health problem, but they can have a negative effect on self-esteem because of their appearance – especially when they occur on the face. Contact us at TriCity Cardiology to discuss spider vein treatment options. We serve the Mesa, Arizona, area.