What are Spider Veins
Common Causes of Spider Veins
Symptoms of Spider Veins
What You Can Do About It
Dr. Miller Answers Questions About Spider Veins
I have spider veins on my thighs, and my right leg. Are they related to varicose veins? Do they increase my risk of developing varicose veins?
I had an MRI of my knee, and the report said that I had varicose veins. Do I now need another MRI to see if I have varicose veins?
Although these images appear clear and distinct, they only offer a static image of the body’s anatomy, while offering no functional information. As a result, MRI currently has no role in diagnosing varicose vein disease. However, ultrasound, as a descendent of RADAR (which dates to WWII), which uses sound waves to image the body, can assist in diagnosing varicose veins.
With ultrasound, medical professionals can look at veins in real time, measure vein blood flow rates, and grade how much and precisely where vein reflux is present (backward flow, or reflux of blood within veins-as a result of damaged valves-is the driving factor in the development of varicose veins). The formal ultrasound examination necessary to properly diagnose varicose vein disease is painless, non-invasive, and usually takes about 45 minutes.
I had a doctor inject my spider veins in both legs. I had to go back for several treatments, which were very painful. Despite these injections, I continue to develop new spider veins. Is this common?
Spider veins are often fed by a complex network of deep venous structures, with the visualized spider vein being the “tip of the iceberg”. If spider vein therapy is approached by identifying and treating the vessels feeding or supplying them, a far superior end result may be achieved, as this allows the source of the spider vein to be eliminated.
Using the analogy of a simple gardening challenge: a weed will continue to flourish if only the portion found above ground is removed and the roots are allowed to remain. As far as the pain associated with spider vein treatments, non-vascular specialists tend to use sodium chloride for sclerotherapy (which is notorious for being quite painful).
Alternatives include detergent-like foaming compounds, which are not considered painful. Physicians trained in diagnosing and treating varicose veins and peripheral venous disease can offer patients the best treatment options available.