Spider & Varicose Veins: Are They Superficial Issues or More Serious?

Spider & Varicose VeinsDo your legs hurt? Do you have swelling or numbness and tingling in your legs or feet? Multiple health conditions can cause tingling sensations in the feet and legs, such as diabetes or MS, but often it is associated with varicose veins. One out of two people over the age of 50 have varicose veins, but that’s not to say that younger people can’t also develop them.

Risk Factors
Some of the risk factors include a family history of varicose veins, being overweight, hormonal imbalance and fluctuations, birth control medications, standing or sitting for long periods of time, blood clots, or abdominal pressure.

Along with tingling, the symptoms may include throbbing, weakness, a sensation of heaviness in the legs, restlessness, and dark blue or purple bulging veins in the legs, calves or behind the knee. Varicose veins can cause pooling of the blood and blood clots, but not all varicose veins are initially dangerous or systemically damaging.

Spider & Varicose Veins Q & A
What are spider veins?
Spider veins are blue or red veins that appear close to the surface of your skin. They can resemble spiderwebs and are usually found on your face and legs. These veins can cover a small area of your skin or grow over larger areas.

What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are similar to spider veins, except they are much larger and appear to bulge or twist out of your skin. Varicose veins can even swell and raise above your skin’s surface.

Commonly found on your thighs, the inside of your leg, and in your calves, varicose veins can also appear on the vagina and buttocks during a pregnancy.

What causes spider and varicose veins?
Spider veins are the result of a backup of blood flow in your veins. They can also develop due to hormone changes, such as during pregnancy, menopause, or the natural course of aging.

Varicose veins can come from weakened or damaged valves in your veins. This damage results from the force of blood that must fight gravity to carry blood back to your heart. For this reason, varicose veins most often appear in the lower part of your legs, as they are furthest from your heart.

When the valves weaken, they can’t prevent blood from flowing backward, and blood begins to leak back into the veins and collect there. As blood collection grows, veins grow larger and become varicose.

What treatments are available for varicose and spider veins?
The providers at Vascular Center of Naples can determine the best course of treatment based on the condition of your veins during your examination. The physician initially may recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and being more physically active if your veins are not causing any discomfort.

For more serious vein issues, Vascular Center of Naples can recommend sclerotherapy. This procedure uses a liquid chemical that the doctor injects into the vein to close it and stop the flow of blood. As a result, the vein turns into scar tissue and goes away naturally.

The physicians at Vascular Center of Naples also offers Varithena®, an injectable foam he uses with ultrasound-guided injections. This prescription treatment can prevent the backflow of blood in your veins and lessen the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins. The foam displaces blood in the bad vein, causing it to collapse and disappear.

To learn more about varicose vein and spider vein treatments, schedule an appointment today!

Russell Becker, DO
Vascular Surgeon
Dr. Becker received his fellowship training in vascular and endovascular surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit. He is board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery. He’s a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, and he retains active memberships with the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Association for Vascular Surgery.

Dr. Becker has experience and interest in all areas of vascular and endovascular surgery, including treatment of conditions like carotid artery disease, hemodialysis access creation and maintenance, and diseases of the veins.

Beyond performing surgery, Dr. Becker is a well published author of vascular surgery literature. He has previously served as an investigator in numerous new and developing clinical device trials and has been a part of the clinical faculty in vascular surgery at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan.

Duke M. Pfitzinger, Jr., DO
Vascular Surgeon
Dr. Pfitzinger balanced his collegiate football career while obtaining his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University. He received his medical degree from Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He then returned to Kansas to finish his general surgery residency at the University of Kansas. During his surgical training, he realized his passion for vascular surgery.

Dr. Pfitzinger then moved his wife and three kids south to North Carolina, where he fulfilled his interest in vascular surgery, completing his vascular fellowship at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has multiple publications and presented at national conferences. He has an interest in complex aortic reconstruction, carotid, and peripheral arterial disease treatments along with other aspects of vascular care. When he is not working, he spends time trying to keep up with his two boys and daughter and all things related to the water.

Vascular Center of Naples
1875 Veterans Park Drive, Suite 2203
Naples, FL 34109

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