If you suffer from varicose veins, you are not alone. According to the American College of Phlebology, up to 50 percent of American women have varicose veins or a related venous disorder. Spider veins (broken capillaries) are formed by the dilation of a small group of blood vessels located close to the surface of the skin and are most commonly found on the legs and face. They look like red or purple sunbursts or web patterns and only rarely cause pain.
Varicose veins differ from spider veins in some significant ways, including that they are:
- Larger – usually more than a quarter inch in diameter – and often distended
- Dark purple or blue
- Located deeper than spider veins
- Often painful
- Tend to bulge or twist
- Can be related to more serious vein disorders
Are varicose veins serious?
Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic concern. They can pose significant risks to your health. Sometimes, they are associated with:
- Superficial phlebitis (ST), which is an inflammation of a vein just below the surface of the skin. The inflammation may be caused by decreased blood flow through the vein, damage to the vein or blood clotting (known as thromboses). Symptoms include redness and a firm, tender, warm vein. Localized pain and swelling also may occur. ST increases a patient’s risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially serious condition that involves a blood clot in a deep vein.
- Spontaneous bleeding, which can occur as the skin on top of the varicose veins becomes thin. The vein may be easily injured, even by clothing, bedding or a slight bump.
- Venous leg ulcers, which can result when the enlarged vein does not provide adequate drainage of fluid from the skin; the swollen skin receives insufficient oxygen and an ulcer can form.
- Venefit Targeted Endovenous Therapy
- High Ligation
- Vein Stripping
If you think you might be suffering from varicose veins, see Dr. Lam for an examination and find out if one of the above treatments is right for you. Often times, in our Dallas office, treatment is performed for varicose veins on an outpatient basis with minimal downtime.
The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.