Yes, this is the first step to tailoring a treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial visit, the affected areas will be examined to determine if a Doppler Duplex Ultrasound Scan will be necessary. Once the appropriate treatments have been determined, we will review the costs and other relevant details with you to ensure you are fully informed.
You should schedule a consultation about varicose veins with Dr. Sun if:
If you're having pain, even if it's just a dull ache, don't hesitate to get help. Also, even if you don't need to see a doctor about your varicose veins, you should take steps to keep them from getting worse (see How can I prevent varicose veins and spider veins?).
Your doctor may diagnose your varicose veins based on a physical exam. Your doctor will look at your legs while you're standing or sitting with your legs dangling. He or she may ask you about your symptoms, including any pain you have. Sometimes, you may have other tests to determine the problem's extent and to rule out other disorders. You might have an ultrasound, which is used to see the veins' structure, check the blood flow in your veins, and look for blood clots. This test uses sound waves to create pictures of structures in your body.
The first step in finding the right treatment for damaged veins is finding its source. A Doppler Duplex Ultrasound Scan provides a visual window, revealing the diseased, refluxing veins beneath the skin's surface. With this diagnostic capability, we can pinpoint the exact cause of varicose veins and customize a treatment plan for each patient - and each damaged vein. Because the problem is dealt with at its source, the treatments are quicker, more effective, and less painful than traditional methods, such as vein stripping. The ultrasound scan is especially important if you have had previous vein treatment.
No, we usually recommend that you wait two months after delivery.
Insurance will reimburse a high percentage of the treatment cost if there is a documented venous insufficiency problem with associated symptoms. We can provide the diagnostic and procedure codes for pre-certification by your insurance company. It is important to note that each insurance company reimburses different amounts for these treatments. We will work with you to help you understand your coverage.
Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often look like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are often found on the thighs, backs of the calves, or the inside of the leg.
Spider veins are like varicose veins but smaller. They also are closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Often, they are red or blue. They can look like tree branches or spiderwebs with their short, jagged lines. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of skin.
About 50-55% of women and 40-45%of men in the United States suffer from some type of vein problem. Varicose veins affect half of people 50 years and older.
Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backward as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose. Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries.
Varicose veins can often be seen on the skin. Some other common symptoms of varicose veins in the legs include:
Many factors increase a person's chances of developing varicose or spider veins. These include:
Spider veins rarely are a serious health problem, but they can cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs. If there are symptoms from spider veins, most often, they will be itching or burning. Less often, spider veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside that you can't see on the skin. If so, you could have the same symptoms you would have with varicose veins.
Varicose veins may not cause any problems, or they may cause aching pain, throbbing, and discomfort. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to more serious health problems. These include:
Heredity is a primary factor in over 80% of varicose vein cases. Other contributing factors may include pregnancy, obesity, hormone therapy, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and injury.
Although women are affected at a higher percentage than men, men can also be troubled with varicose veins and their associated symptoms (and benefit from treatment).
Spider veins are dilated vessels that form just under the skin and result in red, blue, or purple clusters of veins visible on the skin's surface. Besides the appearance of the veins, other symptoms may include skin redness, a firm, tender and warm vein, and for some patients, pain and swelling.
Spider veins can be caused by pregnancy, heredity, weight gain, and standing or sitting for long periods of time. These are the same things that cause varicose veins.
Not necessarily. Some of your visible veins may be larger-sized reticular or even varicose veins. Each of our patients receives a screening ultrasound prior to treatment so that we can determine exactly what venous problems exist and develop an appropriate treatment plan. You may call our office to schedule a consultation to learn if you have spider veins and the right treatment for you.
Spider veins don't actually increase during the winter, but at the beginning of summer, our tans have faded so the spider veins may be more obvious. Once we get into our summer clothes and begin wearing shorts, capris, or swimsuits, we become more aware of them. Many women are uncomfortable with the cosmetic appearance of their spider veins and will continue to wear long pants in the summer.
Most varicose and spider veins appear in the legs due to the pressure of body weight, the force of gravity, and transporting blood from the bottom of the body to the heart. Compared with other veins in the body, leg veins have the toughest job of carrying blood back to the heart. They endure the most pressure. This pressure can be stronger than the one-way valves in the veins.
Not all varicose and spider veins can be prevented, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting new varicose and spider veins. These same things can help ease discomfort from the ones you already have:
Current treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments. Over a period of years, however, more abnormal veins can develop because there is no cure for weak vein valves. Ultrasound can be used to keep track of how badly the valves are leaking (venous insufficiency). Ongoing treatment can help keep this problem under control. The most important thing you can do to slow down the development of new varicose veins is to wear gradient compression support stockings as much as possible during the day.
Patient comfort is at the forefront of our practice. We offer the FDA cleared analgesia called Pro-Nox to safely and effectively ease patient pain, anxiety, and discomfort.