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Simplifying Varicose Veins – The 3 Levels

Simplifying Varicose Veins into the 3 Levels. Varicose veins and spider veins are a very common condition that many patients have. In this video, I break down the different types of veins and how each one is connected. More importantly, I highlight what type of treatment is required for each level.


What is Sclerotherapy for varicose veins and spider veins?

Sclerotherapy (Pronounced skle-ro-therapy), has been around since the 17th century.  It was not until 1916, when the use of modern sclerotherapy treatment for varicose veins was founded. The word “Skleros” itself comes from the Greek word to make hard. Different solutions and sclerosants have been created since then, that are not only safe but highly effective in removing varicose and spider veins.

What is it?

Sclerotherapy is a medical procedure, whereby a “sclerosant solution” is injected directly into the vein. This then irritates the inner lining of the vein wall causing it to harden and then get absorbed by the body. The absorption by the body is similar to what happens when you develop a bruise after a fall. It eventually disappears.

It is commonly used for varicose veins and spider veins but can also be used for vascular and lymphatic malformations, hemorrhoids (dilated veins in the anal canal) as well as for hydroceles (fluid in a body cavity).

How is it performed?

Sclerosant solution is injected using very small needles either directly into the vein or by using ultrasound guidance for veins that are not visible.

The solutions can be injected directly as a liquid or as a foam. Both are as effective for spider veins, but foam is generally found to be more effective for bigger veins hiding under the skin.

Is it painful?

This is a very common question and the simple answer is no. Some solutions used for sclerotherapy can cause stinging when first injected and others cause some slight itchiness during the procedure. The solution I use has an anaesthetic property as well that further reduces any pain. It is important to note that the needles used are tiny and not ordinary sized needles. Generally, it is very well tolerated by most people. Many who do get treated are often surprised how little discomfort there is.

Recovery time?

Most patients who get sclerotherapy can be treated and go straight to work or any other day to day activities. It is often recommended to not do heavy exercise or weight lifting for the first 5 days after sclerotherapy.

It is also advisable to walk daily for 30 to 45 minutes each day after treatment and wear medical compression stockings during that period.

How many treatments will I need?

This is challenging to answer without examining a patient and doing a duplex ultrasound. Most patients generally need at least 3 treatments of sclerotherapy. Some patients have multiple spider veins scattered everywhere and, in that case, more treatments may be needed. Also, some treatments may need a combination of different procedures with sclerotherapy just being one of them. I advise patients as to what will be required during their initial consultation.

Is it effective?

Treatment of spider and varicose veins using sclerotherapy can be very effective. Even after the first few weeks post treatment considerable changes in the appearance of varicose and spider veins can be seen. The final results will be visible 6 months post treatment.

I personally treat all my patients and at Doctor Vein, our focus is only on veins. We strive for the best outcomes and endeavor to deliver the best results.

If you have any questions about Sclerotherapy, please send me an email to info@doctorvein.com.au


What is the difference between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?

Are you looking at your legs right now and asking yourself: do I have varicose veins or are they spider veins?

To understand the difference between varicose veins and spider veins in the lower leg and thigh region, we must look at what the purpose of veins is in first place:

  • Veins are integral to the circulatory system of the body, as the heart pumps oxygenated blood through the arteries and receives deoxygenated blood (blood with no oxygen and more carbon dioxide) through the veins. In the lower limbs (thighs, legs and feet) the same arterial and venous system exist supplying oxygen through arteries and taking away waste products through veins.
  • The largest superficial vein in the lower limb is the great saphenous vein and it starts in the feet and goes all the way to the groin. When the valves in these veins are damaged due to hereditary or hormonal causes, excessive stretching or even injury, they stop doing their job of pushing blood to the deep veins. Other veins take over the job, leaving this diseased superficial segment within the lower limb to continue to stretch and cause a build up of pressure in smaller veins coming out of it. These smaller veins or tributaries are what gives rise to those bulging varicose veins seen on the skin.
  • From these larger veins, smaller micro veins can form called spider veins. It is important to note that spider veins can develop in the absence of diseased larger superficial veins within the lower limb.

What are spider veins, really?

Spider veins also known as telangiectasias are small, twisted blood vessels that are visible through the skin. They may be red, purple or blue and most appear on the thighs, lower legs or face. Due to this twisting and bent appearance, they appear like a spider with a central region and multiple legs.

They do not cause any major structural problems or complications but patients often feel self-conscious due to their unsightly nature and often very prominent pattern.


What are varicose veins, really?

Varicose veins are large tortuous and abnormal blood vessels that are often seen bulging out of the skin. They can develop anywhere in the body, but usually sprout on the legs and ankles

They often appear on the lower limbs and become more prominent when standing and less so when lying down or lifting the legs up. They tend to cause many symptoms and complications, such as heaviness, aching, cramping, swelling, itchiness and ulcer formation as they progress.


In summary

Spider veins and varicose veins are venous disorders often seen in the lower leg and thigh region of individuals. Both types represent abnormal and diseased veins that are not functioning. This essentially means that they serve no purpose except to worsen symptoms already present and give rise to complications like scarring, discoloration and ulcer (wound) formation.

These conditions are more common in women but men do suffer from them as well. Men tend to seek treatment only when the disease has progressed and complications have set in. Doctor Vein can treat and eliminate both spider veins and varicose veins with ease and efficiency. Why not make an appointment today and find out how you can be relieved from this often painful condition.

If you have any further questions about the difference between varicose and spider veins, do not hesitate to contact us.