We’ve answered a few frequently asked questions below, but we’re happy to arrange an appointment to help you further contact us here.

What causes varicose veins?

The actual cause of varicose veins is inefficient, faulty vein valves. These valves don’t close properly, allowing blood to leak back with gravity and pool in the vein. This causes the veins to bulge and stretch and result in many unpleasant side effects such as aching and throbbing pain, itching, heavy and tired legs, and poor venous circulation. Heredity is a primary factor in over 80% of varicose vein cases. Other aggravating factors may include pregnancy, obesity, hormone therapy, standing or sitting for long periods of time and injury.

Approximately 80 million Americans have varicose veins and here is a look at the cause. varicose veins

Competent valves in your veins keep the flow going toward the heart and prevent flow by gravity backwards toward the feet.  Those with faulty/incompetent valves develop reverse flow in the opposite direction toward the feet which promotes varicose veins.  Vein walls weaken resulting in bulges in the veins easily seen on the surface of the skin.  As venous pressure increases over a prolonged period of time, symptoms of edema (swelling), pain, itching can develop and in later stages discoloration and ulceration.  However for evaluation of the root cause the deeper unseen veins must be imaged via ultrasound to determine their competency and for treatment.  

Is there a connection between restless leg syndrome and varicose veins?

Restless leg syndrome is a nervous system disorder that can produce uncomfortable sensations in the legs leading to an irresistable urge to move them to alleviate the symptom.  While the cause is unknown there does seem to be an overlap with varicose veins.  Many times once the varicose veins are treated the RLS symptoms can improve as well.

What can I do to prevent varicose veins?

While you cannot entirely prevent varicose veins, there are quite a few ways to improve your vein health. Physical activity, such as walking, swimming or cycling, is a wonderful way to pump blood up the leg against gravity to improve circulation. Compression hose also helps improve circulation by preventing blood from pooling in the leg veins.

Are varicose veins cosmetic only?

While many might think this to be the case there is a deeper problem beneath the surface as mentioned above.  If left untreated the ultimate outcome  of progressive symptoms can emerge which is a spectrum of discomfort, cramping, restless legs, edema (swelling), heaviness/fatigue of the leg, itching, discoloration, and ulcers.

Is this a problem only for women?

While more ladies are afflicted with this problem approximately 40% of men are afflicted by age 60.  Men unfortunately tend to postpone seeking treatment until late stage problems occur which means more damage done prior to treatment.  It is important to not take these symptoms lightly but to seek evaluation early.

Will insurance cover my treatments?

Insurance will reimburse a percentage of the treatment cost if there is a documented problem of venous insufficiency. If you have a medical problem and if you receive a positive result from a Doppler Duplex Ultrasound Scan, 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.

Where do spider veins come from?

Spider veins may be triggered by pregnancy or hormonal variations and sometimes result in itching, restless leg and minor aches and pains. Although surface veins are mainly a cosmetic problem, they can also be an indication of more serious vein disease deep below the surface.

The medical term for Spider Veins is Telangiectasias: small, 0.2 to 1.0 mm, red or blue or purple veins located within the dermis layer and lie just below the skin. They are actually a confluence of dilated incompetent intra-dermal venules that, on the outside of the thighs and calves, are part of an extensive network of the Lateral Subdermic Venous System; a system that is separate from the saphenous system. The Reticular Veins, commonly called “Feeder Veins,” they are 1 to 3 mm wide blue veins that can be seen running in a curvilinear fashion under the skin surrounding the spider complexes. These reticular veins also have incompetent valves allowing venous blood to run out toward the skin instead of draining the venous blood in the normal direction. Spider veins are often associated with a family history of varicose veins and may form as result of local skin injury or sun damage, and are more commonly seen with obesity, advancing age, and thinning of the skin. They are especially sensitive to female hormonal influence and commonly develop in females during their reproductive years. They are usually found on the thighs, calves, ankles, and the nose and tend to be progressive.

This illustration demonstrates these vessels:

Spider Veins

This picture is a typical example of spider veins before and after treatment:

Varicose Vein before and after

This picture is a typical example of spider veins before and after treatment:

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