An unfortunate part of aging is the clusters of tiny red, purple, and blue squiggly lines on our calves and ankles — spider veins. Unlike varicose veins, spider veins usually aren’t painful, but they can make us want to cover up our legs with long pants. And that’s a pain! With our sunny, beautiful Arizona weather a better option is to have us make your spider veins disappear with sclerotherapy. We invite you to contact us today at our Peoria, AZ location to discuss spider vein treatments.
What Are Spider Veins?
Whereas varicose veins often are large enough that they can make the surface skin bulge upwards, akin to a mole tunnel on a lawn, spider veins are small enough they don’t do that. But because they are close to the surface of your skin, their dark colors make them easily visible. Rather than a single meandering vein, spider veins form in clusters where blood is being dispersed more widely. They aren’t painful, but they won’t resolve on their own.
Why Do I have Spider Veins?
The veins are the pathways for deoxygenated blood to return to the heart. Unfortunately, in the legs that path is an uphill climb the entire way. When we’re young, the muscles and other tissues surrounding our veins help to squeeze and support the veins. This helps push the blood upwards through the vein. Also, in the veins there are valves that prevent backflow; when we’re younger, these valves are efficient and functioning.
But as we age, our muscles and tissues slacken. Also, some of the valves preventing backflow can fail or leak. This allows blood to pool in sections of the veins. This creates spider veins and varicose veins.
Beyond simple aging, certain jobs and lifestyle changes can increase your chances for developing spider veins: jobs that require prolonged periods of standing or sitting, hormonal changes due to menopause, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and heredity.
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“The office staff was very supportive and competent in their procedures. Dr. Rami was clear on what was to be done and thoughtful in his direction for what was needed for me. Thumbs up for the Desert Vein and Vascular Institute team.”
Do Spider Veins Have Any Symptoms? Are They Painful?
Spider veins are so small that they are not always painful. Most people never feel them, and they don’t present a health risk. But they aren’t something most of us want to see on our legs when we’re wearing shorts or a bathing suit.
How Do You Remove Them?
At Desert Vein & Vascular, we use sclerotherapy to remove spider veins. You may hear some providers talk of treating spider veins with lasers, but we feel sclerotherapy provides a better solution.
Developed in the 1930s, sclerotherapy has been amazingly effective at removing spider veins, and continues to offer the most successful treatment. With sclerotherapy, a sclerosant agent is injected directly into the targeted vein with a very tiny needle. Once inside the vein, this solution irritates the vein wall, causing it to collapse and close off the vein. The body instantly reroutes any blood to an adjacent healthier vein, and then it goes about absorbing the closed-off vein and its coagulated blood over the next few weeks.
How Long Does Sclerotherapy Take?
A sclerotherapy session at Desert Vein & Vascular takes just 30 minutes in most cases. We can inject multiple vein clusters in a single appointment. Most spider veins need only a single treatment, but occasionally larger veins will need to be injected twice.
How Long Does it Take Before My Spider Veins Are Gone?
You’ll notice a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the vein over the course of a few weeks. The vein will either disappear completely or will be far less visible and will continue to decrease as the vein is absorbed over the next few weeks.
Is There a Recovery Period After My Treatment?
If you’ve had multiple spider veins injected, we will likely advise you to wear compression stockings for up to two weeks. This compression helps the body begin the process of absorbing the closed off veins. You may have slight bruises at some of the injection sites if you’re prone to bruising, but these will clear within a couple days. Otherwise, you can get right back to your normal activities immediately after your appointment.
Call our Peoria, Arizona office today to find out more about spider vein treatment!