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Spider Veins

  

 

Q. What are spider veins?

Spider veins are tiny blood vessels, that are usually found on the legs. They are about 1-4 mm in size and are pink, red, blue or purple. Spider veins tend to get worse with age, increased weight, prolonged standing and pregnancy. They are more common in women but men get them too.

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Q. What causes Spider Veins?

There are valves inside the large veins of the legs that are supposed to prevent the blood from flowing backwards into the legs. Over time, these valves start to leak. The leaking is made worse by weight gain, pregnancy and some illnesses. Some people are genetically predisposed to having leaky valves. The blood begins to flow backwards into the legs which causes an increase in pressure inside these large veins. The increased pressure cause new smaller veins to grow. These new smaller veins eventually reach the skin where they become spider veins. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available to fix the leaky valves.

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Q. What makes spider veins get worse?

Spider veins get worse with anything that increases the volume of fluid within the blood vessels. This includes pregnancy, weight gain and prolonged standing.

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Q. What is sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a process used to remove spider veins. In this process, a tiny needle is used to inject a very small amount of liquid into the vein. This liquid, called a sclerosant, causes the veins to collapse and eventually disappear.

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Q. What is YAG Laser therapy?

YAG Laser can also be used to treat spider veins. The Yag laser sends a very narrow beam of light to the vein, which causes the vein to collapse and eventually disappear.

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Q. Which method is better for treating spider veins, sclerotherapy or YAG laser therapy?

Both methods are effective. In our experience, spider veins that are one to four millimeters in diameter are best treated with sclerotherapy, and spider veins that are smaller than one millimeter are best treated with the YAG Laser. To get the best possible results, a combination of both treatments works best.

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Q. Which treatment for spider veins hurts more, sclerotherapy or YAG laser therapy?

Neither treatment is very painful. The needles we use are extremely small, and the liquid we inject is designed to minimize discomfort. The YAG laser we use chills the skin before during and after each pulse, which also minimizes discomfort. As a rule, larger veins are a bit more painful to treat than smaller veins. Most patients who've had both forms of treatment describe the sclerotherapy as less painful.

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Q. Which spider vein treatment lasts longer, sclerotherapy or YAG laser therapy?

Both treatments will last for months to years. Unfortunately, new spider veins can not be prevented with this or any other treatment.

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Q. How many spider vein treatments will I need?

Most clients see significant improvement with one or two treatments. Maximum improvement typically takes 2-3 treatments, more for larger veins. If new spider veins are treated early, less treatment will be needed.

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Q. Don't I need those spider veins (even though they're ugly)?

No. Spider veins are not functional. Very tiny amounts of blood flow very slowly through spider veins, failing to nourish the skin. Over time they can get much larger and even damage the skin.

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Q. Will my insurance pay to have spider veins removed?

Probably not. Insurance companies almost always consider the treatment of spider veins to be cosmetic, even when they are painful. Treatment of very large bulging veins, called varicose veins, may be covered by your insurance. If we think that you have varicose veins, we can try to help you get treatment that is covered by insurance. We do not accept insurance, but we will be glad to give you a receipt to try to get reimbursed by your insurance company.

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