What’s the Difference between Spider Veins & Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins and spider veins are visible veins on the surface of the skin that indicate an underlying
problem with reverse venous flow. Reverse
venous flow, also known as venous insufficiency, is a condition that occurs when the valves inside the leg veins become weak, damaged or
otherwise compromised. These valves are responsible for pumping blood back to the heart from the lower extremities. When they don’t
work effectively, blood pools and collects inside the vein. When this occurs, the veins become stretched, elongated and engorged.
Varicose veins are swollen, engorged, twisted veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin. They are most commonly found in the
legs but can form in other parts of the body as well.
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are small red
or blue veins
that are easily visible on the face or legs. They are most common in pregnant women and the elderly. Spider veins occur when capillaries on
the skin become dilated, resembling the legs of a spider.
What is the main difference between spider veins and varicose veins?
While the causes of varicose veins and spider veins may be similar, there are distinct differences between the two. With varicose veins, the
valves inside the vein are diseased and are unable to sufficiently pump blood back to the heart, allowing reflux and backflow. Varicose
veins can cause pain, numbness and fatigue in the legs. While spider veins are small, discolored veins that resemble tiny spider legs
sprawling across the skin. They are generally not painful and can be treated cosmetically.
How are spider veins and varicose veins treated or managed?
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is the new technique of performing sclerotherapy on the small veins that connect the deeper and more
superficial veins of the leg that lead to chronic spider and varicose veins.
Once varicose veins have formed on the surface, they remain permanently dilated and damaged with blood clots in them. Phlebectomy is the
simple process of making micro incisions in the skin to remove them under local anesthesia.
This eliminates that particular vein permanently and leaves no scarring. You can also return to activity the same day. Phlebectomy is also
covered under most insurance plans.
Endovenous laser therapy
This is the cornerstone of our treatments. This procedure closes the superficial vein that is the source of varicose and spider
veins-the great saphenous vein. A special laser is inserted into the thigh under local anesthesia. The heat from the laser closes the vein
in under an hour.
If you suffer from spider veins or varicose veins and are looking for innovative, minimally invasive treatment options, then call The
Vein & Skin Center of Hawaii
today at (808) 949-8346 to schedule a consultation.