The heart pumps blood full of nutrients through arteries all around the body and they return to the heart with waste products through veins.
In the lower limbs there exist two main venous or vein systems. The superficial and deep venous systems. Many people have heard of the deep venous system, through conditions such as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or better known to the public as a clot in the leg. They take back the majority of blood to the heart through their one way valves.
The superficial venous system connects directly with the deep veins which then pumps blood back to the heart. It achieves this by having valves in them, which open and close allowing blood to flow in only one direction at any one time.
When the valves in superficial veins become damaged or there are abnormalities in the vein wall, this results in blood flowing in both directions.
At this point, the vein becomes abnormal and does not function properly. This then leads to a build-up of pressure in the superficial venous system and results in bulging veins to relieve this enormous pressure. These branches often become the bulging veins seen on thighs and legs of patients.
1. Hereditary – Runs in families, giving rise to weakened valves that break down easily
2. Female Hormones – Specifically progesterone
3. Pregnancy – Increased pressure in the veins causing vein wall abnormalities and valve damage
(Sometimes returns to normal after pregnancy)
4. Increasing age
6. Occupations with prolonged standing
7. Previous blood clots in the legs
They can vary in colour, from being skin coloured to being slightly blue or green in colour depending on your skin type.
Up to 40% of women and 20% of men suffer from varicose veins. Symptoms include tired, heavy legs, aching, cramps and swelling, as well as prominent veins that are clearly visible under the skin.
In the past the only available treatment was surgical stripping of the varicose veins. Now there are non invasive treatments available that produce excellent results.
Spider veins or telangiectasias are fine veins that are often seen just under the skin surface.
They are commonly less than 2mm in size. They can be found anywhere on the body but are common on the face and legs. They often are but not always, a result of the superficial venous system not functioning with damaged valves.
Therefore it is vital to always get a duplex ultrasound scan before being treated for spider veins. Failure to do so, will result in worsening of the spider veins or continual reappearance after treatment.
Using superficial laser treatments with spider veins on the lower limbs, only work when the cause of the veins deeper have been treated. If not, they will continue to reappear and most persist. Laser treatments are often very helpful for facial veins.
At Doctor Vein we provide removal of varicose veins through various treatments including endovenous laser ablation, medical grade glue and sclerotherapy. Each treatment is non-invasive and surgery free, allowing you peace of mind. If you have any questions about varicose veins, spider veins or our treatments, feel free to give us a call on 03 9781 0646.
If treatment of varicose veins is arranged early enough, this will prevent them from progressing and worsening in time. Visit our Frankston clinic, conveniently located on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. We’re here to help.