Did you know that almost everyone has a spider vein or two, and about 20 percent of the adults have varicose veins? The small web-like protrusions on your legs, thighs, buttocks, and sometimes on the face are known as spider veins. The larger protrusions on the lower limbs are known as varicose veins. They are usually harmless, but they don’t look attractive to the human eye. However, Dr. Maria Fodera, a vein doctor at Metro Vein Clinic, notes that spider veins and varicose veins can be painful for some people. Here are five things to know about leg veins.
- Leg veins are different
Veins refer to thin-walled vessels that keep blood flowing in one direction. The valves found inside the vein are responsible for keeping blood flow in one direction. Varicose veins refer to a condition that results when the valves inside these vessels malfunction, allowing blood to pool behind them. Dr. Maria notes that veins can lose their elasticity with time. The lost elasticity affects the integrity of the valves whose main work is to keep blood from the rest of the body flowing towards the heart.
Most people mistake spider veins for varicose veins. Spider veins are smaller blood vessels that form a tree-like or spider web patterns. Dr. Maria Fodera notes that spider veins do not cause any major symptoms or pose a risk for complications. However, they may not look good to some people, and hence, they may choose to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons.
- Some varicose veins symptoms should not be ignored.
Dr. Maria Fodera advises individuals to seek prompt medical treatment if they experience:
- Hardening or thickening of skin around the affected area.
- Hyper-pigmentation of the affected area.
- A skin ulcer that appear red in the affected area.
Varicose veins with some of these symptoms may require immediate treatment. The vein doctor will examine the leg for other venous conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, which can cause severe pain and swelling of the leg. Visit a reputable vein clinic if you experience discomfort that starts from your calf, or if you have redness or pigmented skin.
Mostly, varicose veins aren’t associated with deep vein thrombosis. However, it’s essential to talk to a vein doctor for examination. Deep vein thrombosis can be fatal, especially if the clot breaks free and travels to the major organs.
- Some patients may need an ultrasound examination.
Dr. Maria says if varicose veins cause painful symptoms, you should visit a vein center that specializes in the treatment of venous conditions and get an ultrasound. If a vein doctor identifies malfunctioning valves, they should be corrected immediately. The ultrasound helps the vein doctor to determine the cause of the vein problems.
- There are a host of treatment options for varicose veins
About two decades ago, patients with varicose veins had to go under anesthesia to correct the condition. Fortunately, most of the modern treatment options are minimally invasive, and they can be performed in the vein clinic with a light sedative or local anesthesia.
About Metro Vein Centers
Metro Vein Centers is a world-leader in the diagnosis and treatment of venous conditions. Metro Vein Clinic has convenient locations in New York, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Medicare and other insurance plans cover most of the treatment options offered at the centers.
Get personalized care from a board-certified vein doctor Maria Fodera. Dr. Maria is a highly experienced surgeon who sits at the vascular Surgery Board and the American Board of Surgery. She currently serves at Metro Vein Clinic in Brooklyn and State Island.