Varicose veins: usually are the result of a breakdown of the Great Saphenous Vein, an internal vein on the inside of the thigh. The great saphenous vein is only visible with an ultrasound test, therefore, all patients with bulging varicose veins need ultrasound testing prior to treatment. This breakdown of saphenous vein one-way valves causes leakage of blood in the wrong direction. Blood leaks from the thigh into the calf and pools inside the calf veins. This pooling of pressurized blood causes veins to stretch, bulge, and become varicose. If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to dangerous blood clots or large ulcers inside of the ankle. Thanks to endovenous technology, both the saphenous vein and the varicose bulges are easily treated in the office with local anesthesia. Because varicose veins are a medical problem that can lead to complications if left untreated, the treatments are covered by most insurance carriers.
Spider veins: on the other hand, are purely cosmetic issues and pose no threat to a person’s health. These are small red, purple and blue “thread-like” veins found on the surface of the skin. They are usually not associated with deeper vein issues, and therefore, ultrasound tests are not required for routine cases. These are treated with sclerotherapy and laser. Spider veins, unfortunately are a lifelong battle for most patients. Even after successful treatment, the body tends to continue producing them. For this reason, most patients need intermittent maintenance treatments to keep their legs vein free. Spider vein treatments are done for cosmetic reasons and are not covered by most insurance carriers.
Novant Health Vein Specialists physicians specialize in a number of state-of-the-art venous procedures and diagnostic tests. To find out more about them, and how these treatments may help you or a loved one, complete the form below and one of our specialists will contact you.