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About circulation
The circulatory system is a complex group of structures that includes the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Its function is to carry nutrient-and oxygen-rich blood to every part of your body.
After-treatment instructions
Proper care after treatment of vein problems can speed your recovery and reduce your risk of complications like blood clots. Your instructions may vary depending on the procedure involved.
Ambulatory phlebectomy microsurgery
Phlebectomy (flee-BEHK-toh-mee) is a procedure for removing larger varicose veins. Varicose veins are those in which the valves no longer function to keep blood from flowing backwards in the legs.
Causes and symptoms of varicose veins
Varicose veins are blood vessels that become swollen, blue, and twisted from the pooling of excess blood. This happens when blood, instead of returning upwards to the heart, is allowed to flow back down due to a weakness in the valves or in the vein walls.
Choosing a physician
The type of doctor you choose to treat a vein condition may depend on the severity of your problem. For example, superficial spider veins on the face or legs may be treated by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or even a general practitioner who's trained in sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee), or vein injection.
Chronic venous insufficiency
Blood in the legs is returned to the heart through two systems of veins. One set of veins is located deep inside the leg, near the bone. The other system consists of superficial veins near the surface.
Deep vein problems
A deep vein thrombosis (thrawm-BOH-sihs), or DVT (D-V-T), is a blood clot that most often occurs in the deep veins of the calf or leg. The major factors that contribute to clot formation are sluggish blood flow, inflammation of the vein wall, and an increased tendency for blood to coagulate, or thicken.
Does sclerotherapy hurt?
Sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee) is a procedure in which varicose or spider veins are injected with a solution to encourage their collapse and disappearance.
Effective treatment
Varicose veins, swollen veins caused by the collection of excess blood, can be treated with a number of techniques. In mild cases, they may respond to self-help methods like wearing compression stockings, taking frequent walks, elevating the legs once or twice a day, and avoiding tight clothing in the leg and groin area.
Facial veins
Facial veins are tiny capillaries that have become distended to the point that they're visible. These cosmetically troubling veins can take several forms, including short, straight, red lines or darker masses with spidery "legs" radiating from the center.
Insurance and medicare
The coverage of vein procedures by insurance companies or Medicare depends largely on whether or not the treatment is considered medically necessary. Procedures to remove superficial spider veins are typically viewed as cosmetic and thus are rarely reimbursed.
Ligation and stripping
Ligation (lye-GAY-shuhn) and stripping is a surgical procedure that's typically used on larger varicose veins. An upper incision is made, usually just below the groin, and a thin, wire-like instrument is inserted into the vein and threaded downward.
Non-invasive diagnostic testing
Most diagnostic testing for vein problems is painless and non-invasive, meaning no incisions are needed. Typically, the doctor will first take a detailed medical history and physically examine your legs while you're standing up.
PhotoDerm therapy
PhotoDerm therapy uses a laser-like pulse of light to destroy veins. But while lasers utilize a single wavelength, or color, of light, the PhotoDerm device produces a wide spectrum of colored light, which can be adjusted to treat different types of veins.
Pregnancy and veins
Pregnant women are at an increased risk for varicose veins, which become swollen from the pooling of excess blood. There are several factors at work that may explain a relationship between pregnancy and varicose veins.
Sclerotherapy and injections
Sclerotherapy (Sklehr-oh-THEHR-uh-pee) is a method of treating varicose and spider veins by injecting either a saline- (SAY-leen) or detergent-based solution which causes the vessel to close.
Selecting a surgeon
Advanced vein problems usually require the services of a vascular surgeon or phlebologist (fluh-BAWL-oh-jist), a doctor who specializes in vein disease.
Serious conditions: blood clots, phlebitis, ulcers
Clotting, or clumping of blood cells, is necessary to seal off damaged blood vessels and prevent excess bleeding. But when clots form inside healthy veins or fail to dissolve after the vein heals, a dangerous situation can arise.
Spider veins
Spider veins are tiny, superficial, red or purplish veins that usually appear on the legs, or sometimes the face. They generally assume one of three patterns: spider-shaped, with many veins radiating from a central spot; linear, with small, unconnected lines; or arborizing (AR-bohr-eye-zing), in which a branch-like pattern is seen.
Telangiectasias (TEHL-an-jee-hk-TAY-zhuhz) are red spider veins that most often occur on the face, especially around the nose or cheeks. They may also be present on the neck or upper chest.
Ultrasound testing
Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive test that uses sound waves to examine soft internal organs and structures. This technique has many medical applications, including the evaluation of leg veins.
Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy (sklair-oh-THAIR-uh-pee), is a treatment for varicose veins that combines regular sclerotherapy, or vein injection, with ultrasound imaging, so doctors can locate and target diseased veins below the surface.
Unwanted hand veins
Some people are born with prominent veins on their hands which become noticeable at a fairly young age. Others develop them as they grow older due to the loss of fatty tissue and skin elasticity.
Varicose vein overview
Varicose veins are swollen, bluish veins that bulge above the skin's surface. True varicose veins are also tortuous (TOHR-chew-uhs), meaning they wind in a snake-like pattern.
Vein LASER treatment
Lasers are devices that produce a highly-focused beam of light. They have numerous medical uses, including the treatment of dilated blood vessels and other vascular lesions.
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