The Heart and Vascular Institute

Vein Services

If you suffer from varicose and spider veins, you are not alone. It’s estimated that more than 80 million Americans suffer from some form of venous disorder. Some people seek treatment for visual improvement; many seek relief from pain or discomfort.

Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Veins, unlike arteries, carry blood against the force of gravity. They rely on leg muscle contraction and one-way valves inside the veins to carry blood back toward the heart.

If the valves in the veins fail, gravity keeps blood from flowing back to the heart efficiently. This produces a back-up of blood. As a result, pressure builds up and the diseased veins become enlarged, eventually bulging to the skin’s surface. This process is the same for larger veins that are called varicose veins and smaller veins called spider veins. A visual inspection of your legs and a discussion about your medical history is used to determine the cause and severity of the problem.

Causes of Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Heredity is the number one contributing factor that causes varicose and spider veins. Some predisposing factors include aging, standing occupations, and leg injury or trauma.

It is common for varicose veins to become more prominent during pregnancy and worsen with successive pregnancies.

Symptoms

Varicose veins are known to cause symptoms that may include:

  • leg aching
  • pain
  • heaviness
  • fatigue
  • ankle swelling
  • muscle cramping
  • restlessness
  • itching
  • burning

Symptoms often worsen with prolonged standing. Skin changes may occur. These include brownish discoloration over the veins or near the ankle. A purple discoloration related to congestion of small veins around the foot and ankle may also develop. Varicose veins may also lead to complications such as blood clots, bleeding, rashes, and ulceration.

The good news is - varicose and spider veins can be treated, and many insurance plans are covering varicose vein treatments. Learn more about treatment options at St. Anthony’s Heart Specialty Associates Vein Services today. Heart Specialty Associates is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in venous treatment and management. 

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