What are varicose & spider veins?
Varicose veins is a disorder in which the veins become swollen and large, usually due to abnormal vein walls or defective valves.
Spider and reticular veins are much smaller than varicose veins, often red or purple in color with a web-like character.
Other factors which increase your risk include:
Twenty-five percent women and fifteen percent of men are affected by varicose & spider veins. Other factors to increase your risk include:
- Family history — if one or both parents have venous disease, your risk of having venous disease increases significantly.
- Prolonged standing
- Leg trauma
- Congenital conditions
What are the symptoms?
Spider veins are usually cosmetic nuisances that may occasionally cause itching, burning or throbbing. Varicose veins are more commonly symptomatic. The most frequent symptoms include:
- Leg pain
In more severe cases, varicose vein disease can lead to skin changes such as:
- Ulceration or bleeding
Treatment options for superficial venous disease include:
- Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) — a procedure that uses laser to close off a vein that is not functioning properly.
- Endovenous Thermal Ablation (EVTA) — a procedure that uses heat to close off a vein that is not functioning properly.
- Mechanochemical Ablation (MOCA) — a procedure that uses a rotating catheter and special drug called a sclerosant to close off a vein that is not functioning properly
- Phlebectomy — a procedure that removes bulging external veins by making a series of tiny incisions in the skin and physically removing the affected vein using specially designed instruments that look much like crochet hooks.
- Sclerotherapy — a procedure that treats spider veins by using a micro needle to inject them with a sclerosant.
For more information
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our IR physicians, please call the UCLA Varicose Vein Clinic.