Your blood circulates through your body, from the heart to your extremities and back again. When veins are compromised, it’s hard for the blood to flow back to the heart. Pressure builds up as blood pools and makes veins visible through the skin. These are known as spider veins.
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our board-certified vein specialist can evaluate your visible leg veins and recommend the best treatment for spider veins.
Spider veins: Are they dangerous?
You may be worried about the visible lines showing up on your calves, but don’t be. Unless they are large, ropelike, and feel hot or painful to the touch, you just have spider veins, not their more dangerous cousins, varicose veins.
Spider veins are simply visible capillaries, which are the smallest visible veins in your body. When a tiny one-way valve inside a vein gets damaged, blood starts to pool up behind it instead of traveling back to the heart like it should.
This causes the vein to darken, showing up red or purple through the thin skin of the lower legs (and sometimes the face or other areas of the body.) Even though they aren’t dangerous, spider veins can be a serious cosmetic concern.
Treatments for spider veins
At our office, we treat spider veins with several different methods.
One of the most tried and true options for spider veins is sclerotherapy, which dates back hundreds of years. We utilize a very tiny needle to inject a "sclerosing" substance into the affected leg veins.
This substance doesn’t cause harm overall, but does make the walls of the tiny, damaged veins collapse in on one another. The blood is automatically rerouted to a nearby health vein, and your body slowly dissolves the now useless vein, discarding it through your natural lymphatic system as waste.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
We might recommend radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as an alternative to sclerotherapy. Like the sclerosing agent, the gentle RF energy employs slight damage to the walls of the vein, so they collapse and seal off the flow of blood. Again, blood is rerouted to a healthy capillary, and the old vein is flushed away.
Some people may have both varicose and spider veins. RFA treatment can be used for the same purpose on varicose veins to restore healthy circulation. It’s also possible to combine RFA and sclerotherapy for optimal results to get rid of pesky spider veins.
Are you ready to get treatment for your varicose or spider veins? Reach out to our office by calling 201-962-9199 or requesting a consultation online today.