Although spider and varicose veins are frequently thought of as cosmetic issues, in some cases they can be dangerous. Reducing or eliminating the number of visible veins on your legs often requires medical intervention.
Simple, in-office procedures can be used to eliminate obvious veins, especially if they are bulging. Sclerotherapy only requires the injection of a chemical directly in the vein. Typically the vein collapses within a matter of seconds, but larger veins might take longer or require multiple treatments. Addressing spider or varicose veins when they are smaller prevents more invasive treatments later on, and the vein is unlikely to reach the point of bulging and becoming more of a health risk. After the treatment, your doctor will likely advise you to wear compression stockings and use other self-care methods to prevent additional larger veins from occurring.
External Laser Treatments
Another minimally-invasive treatment is the use of an external laser. Similar to injectable treatments, the procedure is done in-office and some smaller veins might disappear immediately after treatment. If you have an extensive number of veins on your legs, some areas might require multiple treatment sessions to achieve the desired appearance. You will also need compression stockings after the procedure, and with lasers, keeping your legs protected from the sun can minimize skin damage.
Some treatments for spider and varicose veins are more extensive, such as vein therapy. Veins that are especially large and that might be at risk for sudden bleeding typically need endovenous therapy or ablation. Both procedures require an injection of anesthetic and a small incision to reach the affected area. With endovenous therapy, a laser is inserted into the targeted vein and heats the inside of the vein. Similarly, ablation involves using heat inside the vein. Both procedures cause controlled damage to the interior of the vein, which allows it to collapse.
When spider and varicose veins become a major health risk, your doctor may consider removing the vein. Some veins become so large and fragile, they may tear or rupture and cause potentially fatal venous bleeding. To avoid this emergency, your doctor might simply choose to remove the vein, either through a simple surgical procedure or a slightly more extensive procedure that involves tying-off the affected vein. The latter procedure will involve a trip to the hospital or outpatient center since it is done under general anesthesia.
Dealing with spider or varicose veins now, while the problem is minor, can possibly prevent a health risk in the future. There are several in-office procedures to make eliminating obvious veins easier.