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5 Things to Know About Sclerotherapy

Spider veins can spread across your legs, making you hesitant to wear shorts and skirts. Although spider veins, which resemble blue, red or purple spider webs, can be a common source of embarrassment, they aren’t difficult to treat.  Sclerotherapy has long been the treatment of choice for these veins, especially when they form on the legs. Many people are candidates for the treatment. If you’re thinking about it, here are a few important things to know. 

What to Know About Sclerotherapy

1. Treatment is Quick

Although the exact length of treatment varies based on the size of the area the doctor is treating, for the most part, sclerotherapy is a quick procedure. It can take as little as 10 minutes if just a small area is being treated. Larger areas might need up to an hour for treatment, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

2. You Might Need Multiple Treatment Sessions

The treatment helps eliminate spider veins by causing those veins to collapse and fade away. The collapsed veins are eventually reabsorbed by the body and the blood that flowed through them is redirected to other blood vessels in the body.

That said, some people need a few treatments before they see full results. Usually, the treatments are spaced about a month apart, which allows your surgeon to evaluate your results and determine if a second session is needed.

3. You’ll Want to Wear Compression Stockings Afterwards

While the spider vein treatment won’t interfere with your life too much, since the treatment takes such a short amount of time and you’ll be able to return to most activities right away, there is one thing you might want to be aware of. Your surgeon might strongly recommend that you wear compression stockings for  a few weeks after the treatment. The stockings will put a gentle pressure on the legs, helping the veins to fade from view and to help improve the circulation of the remaining functioning veins.

4. It’s a Good Idea to Avoid the Sun After Treatment

You’ll also want to avoid sun exposure on the treated area afterwards. The chemical solution injected into your veins does cause some inflammation in the area. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause the inflamed area to darken. Skin discoloration is more common in people who have darker complexions.

5. Treatment is Usually Very Effective

Sclerotherapy wouldn’t be the "gold standard" spider vein treatment if it weren’t effective. As the Cleveland Clinic notes, the treatment usually eliminates up to 80 percent of spider veins in a treated area after just a single session. Very few people, less than 10 percent, don’t see any results from their treatments. 

If you’re ready to say goodbye to your spider veins, contact the board-certified surgeons at United Vein Center to learn more about sclerotherapy and other vein treatment options.

Do I Need a Vein Clinic?

Summer’s coming and you’ve been looking at those twisting, bulging veins on your leg – that could mean no shorts in your future. Or maybe it’s that dark purple cluster of small veins on your ankle or behind the knee. While neither of these conditions is life-threatening, they could be an indication that it’s time to head to your local vein clinic. Here’s how a vein clinic can help you, courtesy of Dr. Gamal Wazni at United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

What’s a Vein Clinic?

A vein clinic is a step up from the average doctor’s office. In some ways it’s more like an outpatient diagnostic and treatment center, with the focus on vein disease and related problems. Most vein clinics offer services to help diagnose varicose veins or other vein problems like phlebitis, such as a duplex ultrasound or other diagnostic tests. In addition, you can receive what is known as non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment for varicose veins and spider veins. You don’t need to go to a hospital and the procedures are typically performed in an hour or two, after which you can go straight home.

What Conditions are Treated in a Vein Clinic?

Varicose veins and spider veins are the two conditions most often treated in a vein clinic. Actually both are the same thing; spider veins are just much smaller and can occur in places other than the legs. Both result from a failure of tiny flaps of tissue in the vein called valves. This allows blood to flow backward and pool in the vein. In most cases, neither condition causes distressing symptoms, but they do affect your appearance (especially when spider veins occur on the face) and many people seek treatment for that reason. Varicose veins may also cause symptoms like burning, itching or pain in the legs, which is another reason people seek treatment.

What Treatments are Available?

Vein clinics differ as to what services they offer. However, most provide sclerotherapy and laser treatments. Sclerotherapy is the injection of a special solution or foam into a varicose or spider vein. The solution is very irritating to the vein wall, and in response, the vein swells and then collapses. Pressure is applied with a bandage or special elastic stockings to help the vein scar closed. Laser treatments also irritate the vein, but with special high-energy heat. The beams are transmitted to the vein through the skin, so no incisions are necessary. Ambulatory phlebectomy is used to remove large varicose veins through tiny incisions in the skin. Local anesthesia is all that’s necessary for these procedures and most people resume normal activities (except for strenuous exercise) the next day.

Whatever your vein problems, a vein clinic is an excellent place to get the correct diagnosis and have them treated. These procedures don’t take much time and you can get everything you need at United Vein Center. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions.

 

 

Caught in the Web of Spider Veins? We offer Quick, Effective Treatment

Spider veins come about due to blood backing up in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) just beneath the skin’s surface. Some people refer to them as broken capillaries. Spider vein treatment destroys these tiny vessels and improves the appearance of your skin.

Why Do I Get Spider Veins? Can I Prevent Them?

Spider veins are caused by many of the same conditions as larger varicose veins. Particularly common causes of spider veins include:

Sun exposure

How to avoid: Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. If you can, avoid spending significant time in direct sun during the midday hours, when the rays are strongest. Certain medications can make you more sun-sensitive than you normally are, so be extra careful with sun exposure when taking these to avoid sunburn and spider veins. Your physician or pharmacist will typically warn you when prescribing, or the warning will be listed on the accompanying literature.

Hormonal fluctuation

This is obviously unavoidable in most cases. Fluctuations occur during puberty, when taking birth control pills, as well as during menopause and pregnancy. If you develop spider veins and/or varicose veins due to pregnancy, for example, wait and observe them after giving birth. If they haven’t disappeared by about 3 months after you’ve given birth—see your vein doctor in Tampa for quick and virtually pain free spider vein treatment.

Injury

How to avoid: Don’t be rough with your skin. Repeated rough treatment, like washing with harsh skin cleansers or using rough facial clothes can lead to capillary damage. Some people are more susceptible to this damage than others, particularly those with sensitive or light skin. As for accidental injuries, you can’t always avoid accidents, such as a ball hitting you in the cheek when playing catch with your kids. These accidents can cause spider veins to appear in response since the injury causes pressure within the capillaries, which can create spider veins. 

Other causes include:

Heredity, obesity, and jobs where you must be on your feet most of the time, including: hair stylists, teachers, food servers, nurses and factory workers. In addition, wearing clothing that constricts blood flow to your legs can cause pressure that leads to spider veins and varicose veins.

Treating Spider Veins

Spider vein treatment options include sclerotherapy and a variety of laser treatments. Your vein specialist will recommend the best treatment option(s) for your particular spider veins. Treatment choices depend upon how widespread the spider veins are, where they are and other factors.

Get Expert Treatment for Spider Veins in Tampa

If webs of spider veins on your legs, ankles or face are inconveniencing you or limiting your lifestyle, we can help. Make an appointment for spider vein treatment at our Tampa vein clinic. We’ll help you say goodbye to annoying spider veins. Contact United Vein Centers today. 

Venous Disease and Proper Treatment

If you have venous disease symptoms, or a close relative has had vein problems, be sure to care for your vein health by visiting your vein doctor in Tampa. If you haven’t had symptoms yet, an exam can reveal potential problems and help you make lifestyle changes to avoid vein disease. If you have noticed varicose veins or other symptoms of vascular disease, seeing your vein surgeon is imperative to help reverse or improve your condition and maintain your vein health for the long term.

Venous disease is an umbrella term that describes vein problems including:

  • Varicose veins and spider veins
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Phlebitis (vein inflammation)
  • DVT (deep vein thrombosis, serious blood clot)
  • Secondary vein disease (vein problems that are complications from diabetes, heart disease or other health problems)
  • Leg ulcers
  • And related blood vessel problems and circulatory issues

What are the Symptoms of Venous Disease?

  • Achy painful legs, especially lower legs/calves
  • Heavy-feeling legs
  • Itchy legs
  • Tired legs
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg rash
  • Leg numbness or pins and needles
  • Skin changes in texture or color, such as hardening or darkening

Vein Disease Treatment Options

See your Tampa vein doctor for proper diagnosis. Your vein doctor can help you sort though all of the treatment options to find the best for you. Many people with venous disease need more than one type of treatment and regular monitoring of their vein health. Luckily, most treatments are minimally invasive and quick. Provided you get treatment and follow your surgeon’s advice about lifestyle changes, you can enjoy good vein health throughout your life.

Here are some of the treatment options for a variety of venous disease conditions:

  • Sclerotherapy or microsclerotherapy is typically used for small or medium varicose veins. In this procedure, your vascular doctor injects a special solution into the diseased vein, permanently closing it. Circulation is improved as blood flows through nearby healthy veins.
  • Endovenous thermal ablation is often accompanied by ultrasound to help locate the diseased vein and guide the laser to the right spot. Your vein surgeon inserts a catheter (thin tube) into the varicose vein and activates the laser’s heat energy. This causes the vein to collapse.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is used for large varicose leg veins. In this procedure, the diseased vein is removed using a tiny, hook-shaped instrument, through several tiny skin punctures with local anesthesia.
  • Vein stripping surgery, where your vascular surgeon removes a large varicose vein through tiny incisions in the ankle area, knee and groin.
  • And more.

Get Expert Spider Vein Treatment in Tampa

Are you suffering from symptoms of venous disease, such as varicose veins or aching legs? Make an appointment for expert diagnosis and vein treatment at our Tampa vein clinic. We’ll help you say goodbye to annoying spider veins. Contact United Vein Centers today.

All About Vein Disease

Vein disease – the technical medical term is venous disease – is a catch-all term. It may refer to a variety of different problems. The key is that all the problems occur in the venous system. The conditions may be minor or primarily cosmetic issues or can actually be life-threatening. Here are the basics about vein disease from Dr. Gamal Wazni, of United Vein Centers in Tampa, Florida.

Vein Disease – Varicose Veins

To some extent, varicose veins and vein valve failure mean the same thing. The valves are tiny flaps of tissue inside the veins meant to prevent blood from flowing backwards. Unlike arteries, which have plenty of force behind the blood flow, veins rely on muscle contractions in the legs to pump blood back up to the heart. Each time the heart beats, there is a slight pause in which only the valves keep blood from going back down due to gravity. The valves can wear out over time, which leads to blood pooling in the veins and distending them into what we call varicose veins.

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How Duplex Ultrasound Works in Vein Treatment

It goes without saying that blood flow is absolutely essential to maintaining good health. A lack of adequate blood flow, otherwise known as venous insufficiency, can cause a wide range of medical issues from the purely cosmetic (superficial spider veins) to the extremely serious (heart attacks and strokes).

For centuries, doctors had to rely on outward signs and symptoms in order to diagnose and treat blood flow problems. Today, however, doctors can look beneath the skin to see how blood is flowing in real time using a device called the duplex ultrasound

How Duplex Ultrasound Works

The “duplex” part of the duplex ultrasound signifies the fact that this device combines two different types of ultrasound technology. Using traditional ultrasound technology, it creates pictures by bouncing sound waves off of blood vessels. To examine the flow of blood, it concurrently uses Doppler ultrasound, a technology that can record the speed and trajectory of moving objects and liquid substances.

During the duplex ultrasound process, a medical professional moves a wand, called a transducer, over any areas of concern. This transducer emits sound waves that reflect back to a central computer to create an accurate visual depiction of the patient’s veins and the blood that flows through them. Medical professionals can also use a duplex ultrasound device to see vascular plaque and other features of concern.

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A Vein Doctor Explains Venous Insufficiency

Individuals sometimes experience persistent throbbing or aching in a leg after an athletic or other injury.  When it is impossible to link any specific event to the discomfort, a vein doctor is likely to consider whether the patient has a condition known as venous insufficiency, also called chronic venous insufficiency or venous reflux.

Exactly What is Venous Insufficiency?

This disorder is most likely to occur in the legs.  The role of leg veins is carrying blood from extremities and internal organs to the heart.

One crucial aspect of vein anatomy is the presence of one-way valves in these vessels.  As blood defies gravity and travels upward, vein valves close to prevent it from leaking backward.  However, when a valve malfunctions or becomes damaged, it cannot close completely.  This causes blood to fall back into the vessel and pool, particularly when a person is in a standing position, MedlinePlus notes.

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Choosing a Vein Specialist

Vein disease encompasses a number of different conditions, but varicose veins are one of the most common and the reason many people seek the services of a vein specialist. The term, however, doesn’t denote an actual medical specialty, so it may take a little effort for patients to make a choice. In Tampa, Florida, that choice should be Dr. Gamal Wazni or one of the other physicians associated with United Vein Centers.

What’s a Vein Specialist?

A vein specialist must first be a physician, either a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO). Both of these physicians begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school, followed by an appropriate residency. Residencies can last from four to seven years, depending on the specialty. In most cases, vein specialists are internists, radiologists or surgeons. After completing their basic specialty training, these doctors go on for a fellowship – an extended period of additional training.

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Choosing the Best Vascular Surgeon for Your Needs

For anyone with vein disease, surgery may be necessary. Having varicose veins is not only unsightly, but it can cause leg pain, restlessness, aching, and other issues. By selecting a vascular surgeon who understands the causes of problem veins and who is able to use a number of different treatments to improve the condition, it is possible for people who need vein surgery to look and feel better. However, getting the right doctor matters. Some are more comfortable with certain types of treatments than others, and there are treatments that work better for particular patients.

What Can a Vascular Surgeon Offer?

A vascular surgeon can offer hope for people who struggle with varicose and spider veins, and can provide treatment that will reduce or eliminate these problems. There are often underlying conditions that cause these issues to occur, and getting to the bottom of those issues is also very important. In some cases, treatment for other problems such as high blood pressure must be handled first, before varicose vein treatment can take place. A vascular surgeon can help patients find the help they need for other problems that can contribute to vein issues, so that treating their varicose veins will have a higher level of long term success.

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What to Expect During and After Sclerotherapy

Varicose and spider veins are very common.  The development of either of these types of abnormal blood vessels can erode self-confidence.  Patients considering treatment with sclerotherapy often have questions about what this outpatient procedure involves and the expected results.

How Sclerotherapy Works

This therapy is the most common treatment for spider veins.  In some cases, it is also effective on small varicose veins relatively near the skin’s surface.  Often a doctor orders an ultrasound exam to explore the patient’s veins, particularly if they are leg vessels, before providing treatment.

During the procedure, the physician injects a special substance called a sclerosing agent into each targeted vein.  This agent irritates the lining of the wall of the vein, causing it to scar and close.  Healthier veins nearby take over the circulation workload of the treated vessel, which eventually disappears.

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