Varicose veins and spider veins may seem like a similar problem, but they’re actually quite different. While spider veins aren’t something you want to see on your legs, they’re not a danger to your health.
But varicose veins are a bigger issue, because they could be a sign of a problem in your veins. Getting treatment is the key to avoiding bigger issues with varicose veins.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, we have many different treatment options when you’re suffering from varicose veins. Our heart and vascular specialist, Dr. Hesham Fakhri, evaluates your symptoms and veins to determine the best course of action to eliminate your varicose veins and keep you healthy.
Understanding varicose veins
Veins and arteries run throughout your body to supply blood to all of your tissues and organs. While your arteries take blood that’s rich in oxygen to your body, your veins return deoxygenated blood back to your heart.
In order to get the blood back to your heart, your veins need to use not only your muscles, but valves to prevent the blood from flowing backward. The valves work by opening when the blood needs to get through and then quickly closing again.
But when you have varicose veins, it’s usually because the valves within your veins aren’t closing properly, allowing blood to collect.
Varicose veins usually appear in the veins that are closest to your skin and look twisted and bluish or purple. Because blood pools in these veins for a while, they also become distorted and twisted. They are most common in your lower extremities.
While varicose veins are sometimes only a cosmetic concern, they can also be a sign of a bigger problem in your body.
Symptoms of varicose veins
If you have varicose veins, the only sign you may have are large blue or purple veins that are twisted in your legs. Even though they look painful, these veins don’t always cause pain or other symptoms.
But if you have deeper varicose veins, they can lead to such symptoms as:
- Itching close to the vein
- Discoloration of your skin
- Aching in your legs
- Leg swelling
- Burning sensation
- Muscle cramps
- Pain, especially after sitting
If your veins are varicose, they also may be tender when you touch them or extremely sensitive. The veins could be harmless, but in some cases, varicose veins may be a sign of venous insufficiency within your body.
Getting treatment for varicose veins when you have any of the above symptoms is your best option, not only for cosmetic reasons, but for your overall health as well.
Treatment options that can help
Dr. Fakhri examines your veins to determine what treatment is the best for you. Some of the treatment options he offers include:
Compression therapy comes in the form of stockings, which promote blood flow from your legs back to your heart. The compression that the stockings provide pushes the blood upward, allowing the varicose veins to empty.
We perform microphlebectomy using minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Fakhri uses small tools to make tiny incisions near the varicose veins and collapses them so they can be removed.
Dr. Fakhri also performs the ablation using minimally invasive techniques. With endovenous ablation, he uses an electrode under ultrasound to burn the varicose vein that’s causing problems. A small incision is required, but it can be performed in the office.
VenaSeal is another minimally invasive option. This procedure is relatively quick and involves a heavy-duty medical grade glue that permanently seals the varicose vein shut. This allows for the vein to empty, relieving your symptoms.
Ovarian vein embolism
When you’re suffering from varicose veins in your pelvic area, Dr. Fakhri uses a technique called an ovarian vein embolism to block off the problem vessel. The embolism is either placed permanently or temporarily to allow your body to heal.
Iliac vein stenting
We use this procedure when you have pelvic congestion syndrome related to insufficiency of your iliac vein. Dr. Fakhri places the stent in the vein to promote optimal blood flow and to give the vein structure.
Don’t delay treatment for your varicose veins. Contact one of our conveniently located offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, to make an appointment with Dr. Fakhri today.