Are you troubled by bulges on your calves and ankles or feel self-conscious about unsightly purplish crisscross marks on your skin? It may be varicose veins or spider veins that are causing the problems. These issues are usually not serious but varicose veins often cause discomfort in those afflicted by them. They can be both painful and emotionally draining.
Varicose Veins or Spider Veins: What are they?
In the human body, veins are important blood vessels that are responsible for providing a pathway for the blood to travel throughout the whole body and returning it to the heart for recycling.
Most of them are equipped with special one way valves to prevent the backflow of blood, but under certain circumstances, some valves get weakened, especially those in the leg area which have to do the most work. As a result the blood flows back and collects in between two valves. The vein walls are strained in a condition called venous insufficiency.
Venous insufficiency results in the affected veins becoming enlarged and twisted out of shape. As veins are located closer to the skin’s surface, they are manifested as bumps and purplish marks called varicose veins. The smaller veins often have the appearance of a spider web and are called spider veins. Age, heredity, long hours of standing, weight gain, and hormone imbalances are all responsible for this problem.
Treatment with Transilluminated Sclerotherapy
There are many ways to manage this condition, but one of the oldest and most reliable methods of treating it is sclerotherapy. For this simple procedure, no anesthesia is required. An irritant chemical solution, called sclerosant, is injected directly into the source vein by an experienced medical practitioner using a small needle.
The sclerosant irritates the inside walls of the vein and triggers them to stick shut, stopping blood flow through the veins and it gets re-routed through healthier veins. The collapsed vein forms a scar. As it gets slowly reabsorbed into the body, the scar too fades away. The number of injections and the type of chemical chosen depends on several factors such as the size of the veins treated, the number of veins involved, the patient’s overall health and the aesthetic goals set by the patient.
The first and foremost prerequisite to this treatment is the ability of the practitioner to locate the source – the vein that is supplying blood to the spider veins. If it is not correctly identified, there can be a series of unnecessary complications. Transilluminated sclerotherapy eliminates these risks by utilizing an intense external light source to reveal the problematic veins.
It works on the principle that hemoglobin in blood absorbs light. For this procedure, the light from a powerful lamp is directed into the flesh in such a way that while the rest of the flesh becomes translucent, the blocked veins become evident as dark lines. In this manner, the feeder veins which may not be visible otherwise, can be easily identified. It saves a lot of time usually spent on trying to locate the vein responsible. With transillumination, the sclerosant can be delivered at the right locations to get the best results from the treatment.
Contact Our Office
Treating varicose veins should only be done with a skilled vein specialist. If you’re interested in learning more about the treatment, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raffi Dishakjian today.