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Vascular Lesions

September 5th, 2013 | Tags:

Q. What are varicose veins and spider veins?

A. Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. They often appear like cords and appear twisted and bulging. They can be swollen and raised above the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are usually found on the thighs, calves, or inside of the leg. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins only smaller. Spider veins are usually closer to the surface of the skin than varicose veins. Most often, they are blue or red in appearance. They can be found on the legs and face and can cover either a very small or very large area of the skin.

Q. What causes varicose veins and spider veins?

A. Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As you muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.

Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to sun and injuries.

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing varicose and spider veins including age, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes and pregnancy, obesity, lack of movement and sun exposure.

Treatment- Laser treatments can effectively treat spider veins and smaller varicose veins. This technique sends very strong bursts of light through the skin onto the vein. This makes the vein slowly fade and disappear. No needles or incisions are used in laser vein removal. Generally, two to five treatments are needed. Laser therapy usually isn’t effective for varicose veins larger than 3 mm. You can return to normal activity right after treatment. Possible side effects include redness or swelling after the treatment that disappears within a few days.

Q. Is there anything I should know before coming in for laser vein therapy?

A. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for laser vein therapy, it is important to establish this during your initial consultation. It is best to limit your physical activity for 48 hours post-procedure, please take that into consideration when scheduling your treatments.

Q. What laser do you use for leg vein therapy?

A. We use the Cutera Coolglide 1064 Nd:YAG laser for leg vein therapy.

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