Veins are thin-walled, floppy structures used to move blood from the body back to the heart and lungs. They are easily compressed, as they do not have a rigid structure, like arteries. They contain one-way valves that facilitate the movement of blood back toward the heart, which can stop working. This allows blood to collect within the vein, subsequently stretching the vein. The blood continues to accumulate in the stretched veins eventually leads to problems like varicose veins and spider veins.
Symptoms of Weak Veins
Spider veins are not harmful and appear on the skin surface as red discolorations. Varicose veins are deeper within the legs and appear as large tortuous and swollen veins. Varicose veins are painful and can lead to worsening vascular disease, such as blood clots due to the accumulation of blood in the veins, or venous insufficiency with poor healing wounds, oozing skin, and discoloration of the skin.
"It is important to know that varicose veins are a medical problem. Spider veins are a cosmetic problem."
- Spider Veins
- Varicose Veins
How Veins are Collapsed
Despite spider veins not posing any worsening risk for vascular disease, due to their appearance, many choose to undergo treatment. Varicose veins can be painful and lead to worsening vascular disease, therefore most tend to treat their varicose veins.
"Collapsing the vein forces the blood to use different veins and further ends the pooling of blood in the weak vein. "
There are two minimally invasive treatment methods available to treat varicose veins and spider veins, which are sclerotherapy and endovascular laser therapy (EVLT). Both procedures can be performed in the office. With EVLT a probe that emits heat is placed within the vein and with sclerotherapy, a chemical is placed directly in the vein. Both procedures, different in the method, end with the same outcome.
- Endovascular Laser Therapy (EVLT)
Video: Get Rid of Varicose Veins
Video: Varicose Veins Laser Treatment
EVLT & Sclerotherapy to Collapse Veins
The heat and the chemical both damage the inside of the vein, which elicits a reaction within the vein. In response to the damage, the inside of the vein swells and begins to scar. This swelling and scar formation causes the vein to collapse upon itself, preventing any further blood flow. Once it has completely scarred, the body removes the vein, as it is no longer functional or patent for blood to flow.
Video: Dr. Almeida Sclerotherapy
Video: Spider Veins Treatment
How Many Treatments are Needed to Fully Collapse the Veins
These techniques of using the heat or chemical to treat the veins, lead to the veins collapsing, which is an effective way to treat the damaged veins. It occurs through a gradual process, as most people require multiple treatment sessions to fully collapse the vein. The amount of treatments depend on the extent of the disease and how many veins need treatment.
Will the Spider or Varicose Veins Return after Collapsing?
Even though the damaged veins collapse and are removed by the body, it is important to know that other veins may succumb to the same problem and require treatment in the future.
Book an In-Office or Online Appointment at The Miami Vein Center to lear more
If you feel you may have spider or varicose veins, then book a consultation with a board certified vascular surgeon. Dr. Jose Almeida is a expert in venous health and a board certified vascular surgeon in Miami, FL. Call us today.