The Santa Monica Vein Center is a National Center of Excellence for Varicose Vein Disorders. Serving the Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Experts in Varicose Veins and Spider Veins.
Varicose veins are common in the adult population, and if left untreated, may cause serious medical symptoms in the legs and thighs. As common as varicose veins are, spider veins are even more common. Spider veins may be treated as a cosmetic condition with laser spider vein removal or as part of a larger problem associated with venous insufficiency.
Spider veins often occur at an early age and are first seen in the early twenties and are more common in patient’s with a fair complexion. Spider veins are small to medium-sized veins that arise within or immediately below the skin surface. They are typically red, blue, or purple veins that occur anywhere along the surface of the thighs, legs, and ankles. In very severe cases, spider veins may become the dominant pattern in the legs and may completely cover the skin in these areas.
Spider veins are commonly ignored by men and women in the hopes that the spider veins will somehow fade away with age. Some individuals go to great lengths to hide the spider veins by special makeup creams and suntanning. Tanning may actually improve the appearance of spider veins in the first few months by camouflaging the spider veins. Over time, typically within several months to years of sun exposure, the skin may become more damaged and will most likely worsen the severity of the spider veins.
Very much like varicose veins, spider veins may arise as a result of genetics or family history. In addition, spider veins may worsen due to hormonal causes, sun damage, or a sedentary lifestyle. As much as we try to prevent spider veins from getting worse, some patients may continue to develop spider veins throughout their life, even despite varicose vein and spider vein treatments.
Spider veins should be treated as early as possible in order to obtain the best results. Procrastination does not improve spider veins in any way. In fact, waiting only makes it more difficult to treat spider veins because the veins rarely improve with time.
Treatment of spider veins falls into three major categories. The decision to undergo a particular treatment depends on the cause of the spider veins. In some cases, the spider veins arise from an underlying varicose vein or perforator vein. In these patients, the first goal of treatment is to focus on the underlying varicose veins and eradicate the diseased varicose veins first. In patients with isolated spider veins without an underlying varicose vein, spider veins can be eliminated by injection sclerotherapy or laser treatment.
Patients with spider veins are grouped into two categories: medical and cosmetic. Patients with cosmetic spider veins do not need to undergo diagnostic tests and may benefit greatly by simple injection sclerotherapy or laser treatments. Patients with more serious spider and varicose veins often are at risk of developing complications associated with venous disease and would benefit by simple and painless diagnostic tests such as ultrasound to determine the extent of spider and varicose vein disease.
There are many different types of injection sclerotherapy. In this technique, a special medication is injected into the spider vein using a very small syringe and needle under magnification. The spider veins may disappear instantaneously or with time, depending on the type of medicine that is used. This technique is popular in Europe and requires a dedicated and patient physician to perform the procedure under a magnifying lens. A second alternative to treat spider veins is through the use of specialized lasers. These laser beams target the blood within small spider veins and upon treatment, heat the spider vein to a point where they burn up and close off.
Injection sclerotherapy and Laser ablation of spider veins are performed in an office setting with very little post-procedural downtime. Patients often return to school or work after the procedures are performed. After several weeks. The spider veins begin to disappear as they are reabsorbed by the body. In addition to injection sclerotherapy and laser ablation of spider veins, patients with documented vein disease are also advised to massage their extremities with Omega Intensive Vein Complex in order to optimize and stimulate vein health. The rich moisturizer strengthens the vein wall using natural botanicals and may improve varicose and spider vein symptoms.
The treatment of spider and varicose veins begins with an examination to determine the size and caliber of abnormal veins in the legs and thighs; as well as the source of the abnormal varicose veins within the circulation. Some patients will have an isolated vein under the skin that has no known cause, whereas other will have a very defined network of vein clusters that arise from deeper and deeper branches of the vein circulation. The qualifications of the vein expert allow for an accurate assessment of your vein problem and help in determining the source of tributary veins that are causing abnormalities within the skin. Once an examination is complete, Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian will discuss the abnormal vein network that is responsible for your spider and varicose vein. Target vessels for laser therapy or sclerotherapy are best determined by appropriate vein mapping using transilluminating light, ultrasound, and visual inspection. Vein mapping is an important diagnostic tool in vein treatment as it can help determine the beginning and end of an abnormal vein. Veins that require sclerotherapy for treatment are first evaluated and then prepped prior to the sclerotherapy session. Sclerotherapy refers to a noninvasive and non-surgical treatment in which unwanted spider and varicose veins are effectively fibrosed using an FDA approved medicine that is injected within the vein wall. Sclerotherapy refers to vein sclerosis but “which involves the destruction of unwanted vein with utilizing the body’s natural process of fibrosis.” There are many different options for sclerotherapy and these can be narrowed after evaluating your vein and your overall medical condition.
VNUS Closure Procedure. EVLT Varicose Veins. Sclerotherapy. Microphlebectomy. Varicose Vein Stripping. Varicose Vein Surgery. Laser Spider Vein Removal. Telangiectasia Removal.
Contact the Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Experts in Los Angeles.
We are located in Santa Monica at the St. John’s Hospital Medical Plaza, on the corner of Arizona and 20th Street. Consultation for varicose veins and spider veins.
Santa Monica Vein Center
1301 20th Street, Suite 240
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T: (310) 998-5533
M-F: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm