Overhauling Your Look

What You Should Know About Spider Vein Treatment

Spider veins and larger varicose veins affect many Americans. They can occur anywhere on the body, but they are common on legs because of the pressure from sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you've spotted some spider veins or varicose veins, you may be wondering what types of treatments, if any, are possible. Luckily, there are several ways to eliminate both spider and varicose veins, but first check out these five frequently asked questions regarding spider vein treatment.

Why Should You Consider Treatment?

If you have large varicose veins, they may actually interfere with your daily life, making normal tasks difficult or painful. Varicose veins can make your legs feel swollen and painful, which makes moving difficult. You can reduce some of the swelling with compression socks, but treatment is the best way to eliminate the cause of the pain. Some patients, however, experience little to no physical symptoms. This is more common if you have spider veins or small varicose veins. However, patients may still choose to have the veins treated to regain their youthful, healthy appearance.

What Types of Non-Invasive Treatments Are Available?

The first types of treatments to consider are non-invasive treatments, which include sclerotherapy and laser treatment. If your doctor performs sclerotherapy, a saline solution is injected into the vein. This kills the vein, which is then naturally absorbed by the body. Laser treatments are another option, and they can be done from outside the skin or from inside the affected vein. Either option destroys the vein by collapsing it. Again, the vein is naturally absorbed back into the body. For this reason, however, results may take time to appear.

Are There Any Possible Side Effects?

Sclerotherapy and laser treatments are non-invasive, so they don't carry the same risks as surgery, but as with any procedure, there may be a few risks. With sclerotherapy, you may experience some mild pain or swelling at the injection site. Some people may experience localized hives or irritation from the tape used after treatment. With laser treatments, there may also be some pain and discomfort at the application site. You may also have bleeding or bruising.

Is Surgery Ever Required?

For larger varicose veins, especially those that cause pain, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the affected veins. To treat a few veins, the doctor will likely remove the entire segment of vein, or they will tie off one end of the segment. As with non-invasive treatments, if the doctor leaves the vein, the body will absorb it. If you have multiple varicose veins, the doctor may recommend a phlebectomy. This procedure uses smaller incisions. In fact, they are so small, they don't need stitches to heal. There are so many incisions, however, that they cause the vein to die. Your doctor will determine which procedure is best and which type of anesthesia is best (local or general).

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Many people shy away from treatment for spider veins and varicose veins because of the cost. However, depending on how many veins you need treated, laser treatment for your lower leg may only be $200. In some cases, your doctor may recommend both sclerotherapy and laser treatment if your symptoms are severe and surgery isn't an option. If your varicose veins cause venous reflux disease, which causes pain, swelling, cramps, ulcers, bleeding, etc., surgery may be medically necessary. If this is the case, your insurance may pay part or all of the cost for surgery.

Spider veins and varicose veins aren't just unsightly. They can cause swelling and pain, making it difficult to get active, which may lead to more varicose veins. If you are sick of hurting or hiding your skin because of varicose veins, it's time to seek treatment. For more information, contact a doctor in your area today.