If you’re dealing with painful or unsightly veins in your body, you aren’t alone. Nearly 35% of the entire United States’ population suffers from spider or varicose veins, and no two cases are exactly alike. Sometimes, these veins are a cosmetic problem but cause no actual pain. Other times, varicose veins can be so serious and painful they lead to issues like blood clots.
So, how are spider and varicose veins caused and what’s the difference between the two?
There’s a number of reasons why either may happen. Sometimes, people are at high risk for venous insufficiency because of factors out of their control, such as their age, sex, and family history. Other times, obesity, pregnancy, or prolonged sitting and standing may lead to vein issues.
In terms of the difference between the two, spider veins are smaller and milder than varicose veins. They are usually found in the legs and tend to be blue or red in color. By comparison, varicose veins are often a more painful and severe form of venous insufficiency that can cause aching, cramping, skin discoloration, and other issues.
These issues can be exhausting to deal with from both a physical and mental standpoint. Fortunately, there are vein treatments available in Northwest Arkansas for those struggling with spider or varicose veins. Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center in Rogers has an experienced and caring staff dedicated solely to treating venous insufficiency. Read on below to learn more about our treatments!
Spider Vein Treatments
Though spider veins can technically happen anywhere in the body, most of the patients we see deal with issues in the legs. As we said, spider veins are milder than varicose veins and usually more of a cosmetic issue (though, underlying venous reflux disease is certainly possible).
However, just because an issue isn’t causing physical pain doesn’t mean it isn’t taking its toll. Spider veins, even if they don’t hurt, can cause a major psychological impact and lead to people being self-conscious about their legs or other parts of their body.
As Northwest Arkansas’ vein experts, the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center staff sees hundreds of patients each year and has our treatment methods down to an exact science.
We’ll start off our overview of treatments with sclerotherapy injections. These injections are designed to safely damage the inner walls of the vein and are performed by either our Medical Director, Dr. Kevin Haney, or one of our licensed nurses. Additionally, these injections can also be used to treat varicose veins.
By using either Asclera (polidocanol) or Sotradecol (sodium tetradecyl sulfate), Sclerotherapy will shut down the scarred, damaged inner walls of the vein. After that, the vein will collapse and absorb into your body over time.
These injections usually have a slight burning sensation associated with them, but they are highly effective. Once the vein collapses, it’s gone forever! It’s important to note, though, that multiple rounds of injections may be needed and that new spider veins can still develop over time.
Looking for a treatment that’s truly a work of art? VeinGogh is not only FDA-approved and effective at treating spider veins, but the treatment is also relatively painless with zero downtime!
Micro-burst technology targets spider veins in your body and treats them with heat. This is done by inserting a tiny needle into the vein through the skin. Once the needle is in the vein, you’ll receive a pulse of energy that heats and seals the blood vessel.
VeinGogh is proven to lead to aesthetically pleasing results in areas where spider veins and collapsed, diseased veins are present. And it doesn’t just help with vein treatment, either. VeinGogh has shown to be effective in treating skin tags, redness, and other cosmetic issues such as cherry angiomas and small hemangiomas.
Excel V Laser System
Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center takes pride in offering the latest, most cutting-edge technology when it comes to vein treatment. The Excel V Laser System is a testament to that, with its versatile dual-laser technology.
Whether it’s spider veins, sun spots, facial veins, or a number of other skin issues, the Excel V Laser System has proven to be safe and effective with its treatment. After sanitizing the treatment area, the laser treatment is delivered to the area (or areas) where vein or skin issues are located. The vein absorbs the laser energy, and the heat collapses and closes the vein walls.
These treatments can be recommended as an alternative to Sclerotherapy, depending on the location and how severe your vein or skin issue is. A topical anesthetic can also be provided to numb any pain. Over time, you should see noticeable aesthetic improvement!
Varicose Vein and Venous Reflux Treatments
Varicose veins and venous reflux are generally more severe issues when compared to spider veins. These veins are blue or purple in color and found in the legs. What makes them more severe are the potential physical issues that come with them, such as pain, itchiness, swelling, leg heaviness, and other ailments.
Varicose veins and venous reflux happen when there’s an issue with the valve in the vein. Instead of carrying blood back to your heart like it’s supposed to, a valve issue will cause blood to pool up (or reflux) in your veins or ankles. This leads to the protruding varicose veins that we see at our office.
Between dealing with discomfort and cosmetic issues, the physical and mental toll that varicose veins and venous reflux can have on a person can be debilitating. Fortunately, we offer a number of different treatments for varicose veins, as well as the early stages of vein disease and venous reflux.
One of the newest, most up-to-date treatments we offer for veins is Venaseal. Venaseal is very popular with our patients not only because of its effectiveness, but because compression hose aren’t required after treatment.
Introduced back in 2016, Dr. Haney and Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center were the first in Arkansas to offer this treatment. It works by injecting a numbing shot to reduce pain, and then a small catheter is inserted into the vein. Our staff then uses ultrasound to guide the catheter, and small drops within it are used to treat and close the vein.
The procedure is safe and proven effective by clinical studies, so you’ll be able to return to normal activities within a short time!
Keeping with our commitment to cutting-edge technology, Dr. Haney and Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center were also the first in Arkansas to use Varithena. Varithena is both minimally invasive and essentially pain-free, using injections to help treat veins.
For this treatment, Dr. Haney will inject the Varithena microfoam into the vein until it collapses. Once that happens, your blood will flow to the healthy veins surrounding the collapsed vein. Over time, your body will absorb the treated vein and produce healthy, effective results.
Varithena treatments have a 94% success rate and are one of the most versatile methods of treating vein issues. After your treatment, you can expect to wear compression stockings for about 14 days.
Radiofrequency ablation is well known as one of the most popular ways to treat venous reflux and varicose veins in the world. Those, in particular, suffering from chronic venous insufficiency have seen faster recoveries thanks to this method of treatment.
The treatment is both safe and highly effective, using radiofrequency energy to heat and treat the problematic vein. After applying a local anesthetic, Dr. Haney uses ultrasound guidance to insert a tiny catheter into the treatment area. Once in the area, the heat energy from radiofrequency fiber will cause the vein walls to collapse and close.
Much like other treatments, your blood will be redirected to healthier veins once the problematic one closes. Following the treatment, you’ll need to wear compression stockings for a doctor-recommended amount of time.
Another common treatment at our facility, VenaCure EVLT has been administered by Dr. Haney more than 1,800 times to date. The main reason this treatment is so popular? It works and produces noticeable improvements in your legs in the treatment area.
VenaCure EVLT works by utilizing laser light technology, which uses a small amount of energy to close off the vein. After applying a local anesthetic and a numbing shot at the treatment area, we put a laser fiber up through the target vein using ultrasound guidance. Once in place, Dr. Haney will heat the treated area and close it off.
The procedure is similar to that of Radiofrequency Ablation and other treatments, except the technology used for the treatment is different. Recovery also looks a little different, as compression stockings are required for 24 hours continuously following surgery and 48 hours afterward during the day time.
Last but not least, we offer Ambulatory Phlebectomy as a treatment option for varicose veins. We use this treatment as a means to specifically improve the aesthetics of your treatment area.
After an ablation treatment, when veins are closed down and blood is redirected to healthy veins, our nurses use an Ambulatory Phlebectomy to treat the visible veins in your legs. After applying a local anesthetic, we make small incisions into the skin and use a phlebectomy hook to remove the viable bulges.
Once that’s completed, we apply bandages and wraps and send you on your way. The best part about this treatment is that there’s no downtime associated with it, and any visible scars will fade over time. That just leaves you with the beautiful results you’ve been looking for!
We’ve gone into conservative measures previously on this blog, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that some of the most effective treatments are the ones that you can at home.
We believe in our treatments and know that they’re highly effective, but we also believe in helping our patients make decisions that are in their best interest. That’s why we believe it’s best to try conservative management techniques at home before jumping straight into treatment.
Conservative measures can be highly effective in treating and preventing spider and varicose veins. Not only that, doing so can help you feel better and generally make your day-to-day life easier. Some conservative measures you can try include:
While not a cure-all for varicose and spider veins, regular physical activity, and exercise are some of the best ways you can mitigate some of their effects. Physical activity that gets your blood pumping will help promote long-term health, as obesity and prolonged sitting are two of the biggest risk factors.
Whether it’s walking, riding a bike, playing sports, or something else, staying active is one of the best ways to help yourself. To make sure you stick with it, find activities that you genuinely enjoy. Exercise also goes hand-in-hand with our next conservative measure.
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods entirely to treat your vein issues, but maintaining a healthy diet and weight is crucial for alleviating side effects. Again, this isn’t going to magically cure your vein issues. However, a healthy diet can help your legs feel better and can promote an overall increase in your health and well-being.
Leg elevation promotes the upward flow of blood in your veins. This is a simple way to help prevent swelling and discomfort. A few sessions per day for about 10-20 minutes are shown to have noticeable benefits.
Wearing Compression Stockings
Often the most effective way to treat vein issues at home, compression stockings reduce swelling in your legs and prevent blood from pooling up in your veins.
The best way to see results from compression stocking is by picking the right kind. Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center has a variety of different compression hoses to choose from on our website. Depending on the location of your vein issues, you can choose from thigh-high stockings, full-length stockings, and ones that stop just below the knee.
If you’re unsure about which compression stocking is best for you, talk to your doctor for additional help and guidance.
Learn More About Vein Treatments
Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center is the only practice in Northwest Arkansas that provides all the highest quality vein treatments available, and we focus only on vein treatment. Dr. Haney and our expert staff have over 75 years of combined experience in the industry, ensuring you get the best leg vein procedures available in Rogers.
Helping people is what we do. No matter your vein issue, we can guide you toward a solution that will ease your discomfort and boost your confidence. With our world-class vein care and focus on patient education, we are sure to achieve real results each and every time.