Spider veins are veins which are similar in size to a human hair and form close to the surface of the skin in clusters. They can be blue, red, or purple and often connect and form into shapes which give them the appearance of spider webs or tree branches.
Varicose veins are larger, thicker, and more lumpy in appearance than spider veins, have a darkish-blue or green colour and are often associated with aching or heaviness in the legs. Spider veins and varicose veins can occur anywhere on the leg and are often a source of concern for many women.
How Varicose and Spider Veins Form
Veins close to the surface of the skin supply blood to the deeper veins that travel through the calf muscles. As the blood needs to move against the force of gravity, it is the pumping action of the calf muscles which supply the energy necessary for pushing the blood upwards and back towards the heart.
The veins contain one-way valves to prevent blood travelling backwards. Over time these valves may deteriorate and eventually fail to operate. Once a valve fails, blood can pool in the vein, and cause it to become distended and visible.
It is not yet known what causes the underlying conditions which give rise to varicose and spider veins, but they tend to run in families, and women are more likely to get them than men.
There are also a few factors which may increase your risk of developing spider and varicose veins, such as being immobile, standing or sitting for long periods, lack of physical activity, and obesity.
Available Treatments for Varicose and Spider Veins
Most instances of varicose and spider veins can be treated. Procedures like Endovenous Laser Ablation and Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy make vein removal costs more affordable than you might expect.
Endovenous Laser Ablation replaces the previous method of varicose vein stripping. The area is first treated with a local anaesthetic. Once the area is numb, a small incision is made to make way for a tiny laser fibre.
Ultrasound equipment is then used to guide the laser through the vein. Once activated, the laser starts a process whereby the vein wall collapses, and as it is withdrawn, sclerosis of the vein occurs with minimal discomfort.
Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy (UGS) is another method for treating veins which is both safe and effective. Ultrasound equipment is used to guide a needle into the abnormal veins, which are then injected with a sclerosant solution. After injection, the veins will collapse and be absorbed by the body.
Advantages of Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment
When you arrive for your appointment, waiting times will be minimal as they are walk-in-walk-out procedures. No lengthy hospital stays for monitoring and recovery are required. Also, no general anaesthetic is used, making these types of treatments relatively safe, as well as making the spider vein cost of treatment more affordable.
Once the procedure is complete, you will be able to return to work almost immediately, and you won’t need to spend any time away from your family. These two advantages alone can help reduce the impact of the varicose vein cost of treatment, but Medicare rebates also help to make vein removal treatment accessible to more people.
Recovery is a breeze as there are no stitches to be removed, no scarring, and you can continue your normal everyday activities. At most, you will only need Panadol or Nurofen to manage pain levels, with 20% of patients not needing any pain medication at all.
As you can quickly return to full mobility, you also reduce the chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis from occurring.
If you are concerned about the varicose vein cost of treatment or wish to discuss solutions for spider veins, please call our clinic on 02 9906 1555 and book in for a consultation. You can also browse through our website for more information.