What are varicose/spider veins?
Varicose veins are dilated, twisted, and enlarged saphenous veins that often appear near the surface of the skin, but not always. They are found in the legs and ankles, they are more frequently found in women...BUT Men get them too. These veins cause a stagnation of blood in the legs and can lead to blood clots which can be dangerous to your heart and lungs. Spider veins are mini branches, which are often darkened and near the surface, and can cause stinging and aching.
Varicose/spider veins left untreated can become a serious health risk.
What causes varicose/spider veins?
Varicose/Spider veins are caused by weakened valves inside the veins. The valves in your veins keep blood flowing up your legs then to your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood pools in your legs (or other extremities), and pressure builds up because the blood is flowing the opposite direction that it should, down the leg instead of up the leg. The vein walls become weak, damaged, and enlarged, not only can they look bad, but they can cause pain, tenderness and swelling. Varicose veins are often hereditary; but aging, obesity, pregnancy or having a job with prolonged standing increases your likely-hood of developing varicose veins. Varicose veins are a medical problem first, and an aesthetic problem second.
What do Varicose/spider veins look like?
Often dark blue or purple, Varicose veins are swollen, lumpy and twisted under the skin. Spider veins are more pronounced with color. Below, are pictures from before and after treatment.
What can be done to get rid of Varicose Veins?
We understand how challenging and uncomfortable living with this condition can be, the condition is progressive and it will become worse if not treated. Some people can change their lifestyles to ease symptoms and keep the varicose veins from getting worse by doing the few things below...
Wear compression stockings or sleeves
Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
Get plenty of exercise. (Especially casual walking)
Take a baby aspirin per day
However, the best answer is to visit a professional for treatment. Dr. Merkel has been treating patients with varicose veins for over 28 years. He has seen some incredible advances in technology and uses these in his practice to help people who are dealing with this very common problem. Dr Merkel can treat your varicose veins in one visit with the Dornier 940 Endovascular Laser System alone, or commonly in combination with sclerotherapy; depending on your individual needs.
The Dornier D940 Laser System is the Gold Standard for Varicose & Spider Veins
Laser treatment of varicose and/or spider veins has now been perfected and thankfully, no longer requires the stripping surgery or general anesthesia that was used in the past.
Varicose veins of all sizes are the external manifestation of a larger, more extensive vein valve issues within the saphenous vein system. The valves stop working and blood flows the wrong way: down the leg, not up. Treatment for both internal & external deformed veins requires use of a internal (endo) laser, where the laser fiber is placed inside the abnormal veins to “weld” them closed, plus schlerotherapy (chemical ablation which injures the vein, causing it to contract and die) are done at the same time. Anything less, will invite re-occurrences, but at the same time venus vascular insufficiency can be a lifelong problem even with the best treatment; if caught early patient has a better chance of longevity of results. All treatments in our office are by local anesthesia and in our JCAHO Nationally Accredited, private in-office operating room. IV sedation can be added as an option for a stress free and memory free experience. Most of our vein cases perform with monitored IV sedation for optimal comfort to the patient.
Dr. Merkel offers a one stop, one treatment session to correct the problem veins under sedation; and not by repeated visits and injections.
Sometimes, some insurances do cover part of the treatment. Come in for a consult and let us help discuss your options with you and your insurer.
Here is a good video to see Sclerotherapy that illustrates the blood flow. Note, in combination with the Dornier we can provide a more successful result than what is shown in this video.
Call to schedule a consult today 970-242-9127.