FAQ

What causes varicose veins?

Heredity/Family History- You have a 90% chance of having venous disease if both parents had vein problems. Age- Venous disease worsens with age. Patients range from their teens to their mid-nineties. Gender- Women are three times more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Pregnancy- The chance of developing varicose veins increases with each pregnancy. Obesity- Obesity does increase the risk of venous disease, but only slightly. Trauma Standing Professions-Teachers, nurses, factory workers, and construction personnel are more likely to develop varicose veins.

What are spider veins?

Spider veins are very small varicose veins.  Although they don’t usually cause discomfort, the deeper veins that often accompany them do. Many vein disease sufferers have a combination of both varicose and spider veins. While they may seek treatment for cosmetic improvement, many of our patients are looking for relief from pain.

Does vein disease affect women and men equally?

More than half of all women will develop varicose vein disease over the course of their lifetime.  However 40-45 percent of all men will develop it as well. The unique hormonal conditions that women face, such as pregnancy and menopause, often cause their veins to become worse.  This is likely why we see more women than men seek treatment for their condition.

Do I have to treat both legs?

The abnormal limb or limbs should be treated thoroughly for best results. They may be treated at the same time or after one another.

Can I be cured of my varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a problem that can be successfully treated but the disorder cannot be permanently cured. The treatment of the abnormal veins does not remove the original tendency of a patient to develop varicose veins. Therefore, many patients need to return for maintenance treatments after their initial treatment is completed.

What is a skin ulcer?

A skin ulcer is caused by a venous reflux disorder that is called a venous stasis ulcer. Early signs that a venous stasis ulcer may develop include a darkening of the skin in the area of the ankle. Gradually, the skin may become leathery or waxy in appearance. Without treatment of the venous disease, the skin may breakdown and bleeding may occur.

What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is the treatment of varicose veins by injection of the veins with chemicals that cause destruction of the veins. Many patients who select this treatment option for cosmetic reasons notice improvement in the way that their legs feel after treatment.

What new treatment options exist for patients who have abnormal blood flow in the major vein trunks other than vein stripping?

In order to control the backward flow of blood in these large veins, the vein that is the source of the visible varicosities must be sealed shut or removed. The vein may be sealed shut using energy sources such as a laser, or radiofrequency energy electrical energy, or by ultrasound guided sclerotherapy injections

What is ultrasound guided sclerotherapy?

Visual sclerotherapy refers to injection of surface veins that are visible to the naked eye. Some veins that need to be treated are below the surface of the skin and cannot be injected safely without the aid of ultrasound imaging assistance.

Is sclerotherapy safe?

Most patients do not experience any complications from sclerotherapy. However, some patients develop changes in skin pigment in locations where the veins are injected. Some patients may experience chemical burns of the skin while a rare patient may develop an allergy to the medication. Serious complications such as deep vein blood clots and unintentional arterial injection occur rarely.

What are my treatment options?

Vein treatment programs are designed to treat visible varicose veins and to treat abnormal veins that may not be visible but that may be the source of the visible varicosities. If varicose veins are the only abnormality detected by the treating physician, the treatment involves surgical removal of the visible varicose veins (micro-incision phlebectomy) or the injection of chemicals (sclerosants) into the vein (sclerotherapy).

What is phlebology?

Phlebology is the branch of medicine that deals with veins and disease of veins.

What is a phlebologist?

A Phlebologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vein disorders.

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins happen when small valves in veins break and cause the blood in them to flow in the wrong direction. This causes the veins to swell and backfill with stagnant blood. Many times varicose veins appear as either bulging and ropelike, or small and threadlike. However, they can also appear deep under your skin, where you are not able to see them. Varicose veins can cause aching, tired and swollen legs; create a burning, throbbing, or itching sensation; and cause muscle cramps and a general restlessness in your legs. Varicose veins require medical treatment.

What is sclerotherapy?

During sclerotherapy a solution is injected into your varicose or spider veins.  This closes the abnormal vein and seals it off from the other healthy veins in your leg.  The vein shrinks over time and is eventually absorbed.  A typical treatment session may last for 15 to 20 minutes and will consist of microinjections. Depending on where the vein is located, this procedure is done with and without ultrasound guidance.  We uses FDA approved solutions during sclerotherapy, including Asclera and Sotradecol.