Woman Doc
"There is absolutely no reason you should live with varicose or spider veins."


What causes varicose veins?
The basic cause of varicose veins is gravity. Non-varicose veins fight gravity by having valves that prevent blood from flowing backwards.
What causes spider veins?
Spider veins are small, surface veins that are red or blue and shaped like a spider web or tree branch.
How do I prevent varicose and spider veins?
Nothing can prevent varicose and spider veins for sure, but the following can improve your chances and reduce the symptoms caused by your existing varicose or spider veins
Compression Stockings
Compression stockings, along with lifestyle changes, are part of conservative therapy for varicose veins which many doctors will try first.
Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is the time-tested "gold standard" treatment for varicose and spider veins. It is a non-surgical procedure that can be performed in-office, in under an hour, and without anesthesia.
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy is an advancement of sclerotherapy developed to treat varicose veins that are too large for traditional sclerotherapy or are hidden.
Microsclerotherapy
Microsclerotherapy is used for the smallest veins, such as spider veins.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous Laser Ablation is a non-surgical method of treating varicose veins.
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation
Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation is a non-surgical method of treating varicose veins.  A catheter is inserted into the vein and pulled along its route to seal it with heat. It treats the underlying veins that cause varicose veins without the side-effects of traditional surgery. VNUS Closure™ and VNUS ClosureFAST™ are two methods commonly in use.
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense Pulsed Light is a method for treating spider veins.  Light is directed on to the vein which causes it to heat up and collapse.  The vein turns into invisible scar tissue.
Laser Therapy
Laser Therapy is a method for treating spider veins and small varicose veins.  A laser is pulsed on to the targeted vein.  The laser heats the vein causing it to swell shut.  It then clots and eventually turns into invisible scar tissue.
Vein Stripping & Ligation
Surgical Stripping is a surgical procedure used to treat varicose veins.  It is performed under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made.  The vein is then tied off and removed.


Vein Stripping and Ligation

 

  Surgical Stripping is a surgical procedure used to treat varicose veins.  It is performed under general anesthesia.
 

Overview:Two incisions are made.  The vein is then tied off and removed.

What it treats: Large varicose veins.

Pros: Proven track record, long term success

Cons: Surgical, general anesthesia, bruising

Alternatives: Endovenous Ablation (Laser and Radiofrequency), Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy

How it works: Surgery involves a cut, commonly in the groin but sometimes behind the knee. The leaking vein is then isolated and divided from the main deep vein. Following this a plastic wire is passed down the vein and the vein then tied onto one end of it. The end of the plastic wire is then brought out through the skin and the vein is pulled out. This is followed by small cuts on the lower legs where the varicose vein bulges are and these veins pulled out piecemeal.

Consulting your doctor: You should bring any documents necessary to give your doctor an accurate medical history, including recent illnesses and any allergies that you have.  Make a list of the medications and supplements that you are currently taking as well as the symptoms that you are feeling.  Write down any questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you.  Make sure you understand your doctor's answers.
Your doctor will examine your legs checking for signs of any underlying conditions.  She may or may not use ultrasound for this.  Write down any instructions your doctor gives you regarding restrictions before the procedure.

Procedure:  The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis.  You will most likely be put under general anesthesia.  Make sure you have someone who can drive you home from the procedure.

Recovery: You should be able to return to work in a few days.  You can resume normal activities in a few weeks. 

Results: The procedure has a ninety percent success rate.

Possible side effects: Scarring or recurrence is possible with the procedure.

Cost/Insurance: These vary greatly based on provider and geographic region.  Please check with your insurance company and doctor.