Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged superficial veins usually seen in the thigh and leg. In many patients they are a sign of a more serious underlying problem of the venous system. These veins often are branches of the superficial set of veins (long and short saphenous veins), which have leaking valves. As many as 30 million adults in the USA are affected by significant superficial venous insufficiency (saphenous vein and branches) and may have an easily treatable problem.
Venous insufficiency is more of an “umbrella” diagnosis, which refers to leakiness of the one-way valves within the veins that results in increased pressure in the veins. The increased pressure may cause bulging varicose veins, leg swelling, cramps or achiness of the calves, restless legs, spider veins, discoloration and thickening of the skin of the lower leg, and eventual bleeding or ulceration.
Varicose veins are enlarged “ropey” veins that are swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. They have lost their normal function and the ability to transport blood back to the heart using one-way valves. They typically appear flesh, blue or dark purple in color. Varicose veins are commonly found on the inside of the legs and back of the calves, although they can form anywhere on the legs from the groin to the ankle. Varicose veins can be painful and unsightly and may lead to more serious medical conditions such as ulcers and blood clots / deep vein thrombosis (DVT). We employ the latest ultrasound testing to assist in determining the breakdown and leakage that may be occurring within the venous system of your legs. As varicose veins have been identified as a viable health concern, many insurance carriers will now cover most treatments.
Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are similar to varicose veins, but are smaller and closer to the surface of the skin. They usually appear red, blue or purple in color. They can look like short fine lines, a twig, tree branches or a spider like web pattern. They typically appear on the legs but can become visible on the face, especially on the nose and cheeks. Spider veins pose no threat to a person’s health and are easily treatable. Ask our specialists today to learn how the latest methods are helping our patient to minimize and remove these unappealing veins from their leg’s appearance.