Spider veins are small, thin veins that appear just below the surface of the skin. Also known as thread veins, they may be purple, red, or blue and often resemble thin branches.
Although spider veins are rarely painful or harmful, people often prefer to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
Varicose veins are large, twisted, sometimes lumpy veins that typically occur in the legs. For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic concern. For others, the condition is painful and may lead to more serious vascular issues. Varicose vein treatment varies according to the severity of the condition.
Microphlebectomy is the surgical removal of medium and large sized varicose veins. The blood that previously moved through that vein simply reroutes to another vein, so the patient experiences no negative effect in blood flow or circulation.
This minimally invasive procedure is performed in-office and requires only a local anesthetic. Generally, microphlebectomy is reserved to treat large, tortuous varicose veins. For smaller veins, Dr. Favata usually recommends EVLT or sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment option for spider and varicose veins that closes the affected vein by injecting it with a solution. This causes scarring that forces the vein to collapse, rerouting blood to healthier veins. It typically takes a few weeks for the vein to fade completely. Over time, the body reabsorbs the collapsed vein.
Although sclerotherapy is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, it may also help relieve symptoms of varicose veins. These include aching, burning, restless leg syndrome, and swelling.