Are you self-conscious wearing clothes that reveal your legs because of unsightly varicose or spider veins? Are your veins causing symptoms such as aching, pain, heaviness, fatigue, itching, burning, cramps, restlessness, throbbing, or swelling?  If varicose or spider veins are negatively affecting your life, we have multiple solutions that will help you feel better and step forward with confidence. Madison Vein & Laser at Madison Med Spa in Waunakee, WI, has treatment options from all the different categories of treatment available, and more experience than ANY other clinic or hospital in South Central Wisconsin treating vein disease.  This allows us to tailor treatment to your unique needs to most effectively get rid of your varicose and spider veins, helping your legs look and feel their best.

What Are the Main Causes of Varicose Veins?

Larger varicose veins and smaller spider veins, are veins that were once normal but have become damaged and are no longer functional. Normally they facilitate one way flow of blood up and out of the legs using a series of one-way valves.  When these valves break, the vein can no longer accomplish its job, and blood starts to be held in the broken vein by the force of gravity.  Blood pooling in a broken vein eventually dilates the vein wall, enlarging it and in some cases making it visible on the surface of the skin.  While many of these veins are close to the surface of the skin and easily visible, many people will have deeper feeder veins which are not easily visualized from the surface without the use of ultrasound.

Factors That Affect Formation

The three most important causal factors for varicose and spider veins are: family history of vein disease (80% or more); female gender (20%); and rarely direct trauma to a valve (<1%).  Additionally, there are some lifestyle factors that contribute to their formation as well. Some of these factors can be avoided, while others cannot.

Family History

If you have a family history of varicose veins or spider veins, you will be much more likely to develop them due to genetic factors out of your control. Family history doesn’t mean that you will develop them, but, if you do have them and none of the other factors apply to you, you can most likely attribute them to genetics. If you are not sure whether or not these veins run in your family, simply ask your family members if they or someone else in the family struggles with them as well.  Many patients are surprised to find out that it runs in their family because their family members may have hid them as much as possible, never wearing shorts or dresses that showed their legs, and many times these same family members did not want to talk about the problem.

Gender

While both men and women are susceptible to varicose veins, women are much more prone to them than men.  Vein disease patients are approximately 80% women and 20% men.  This is primarily due to female hormones, in addition to changes related to pregnancy.  Female hormones can cause vein wall laxity and valve leaflet softening every month of a woman’s cycle, and pregnancy not only magnifies these hormonal changes, it also physically stretches the vein walls as the pregnant woman grows additional blood cells for the baby, and the baby does her the disservice of lying on her inferior vena cava effectively putting a kink in hose which normally conducts the venous blood flow up and out of the legs.

Trauma

Direct injury to a valve may also cause a vein to develop.  Most commonly this is seen following sports injuries, but may be due to any other type of accident.  Even controlled situations like surgeries can sometimes result in damage to a vein.

Other factors that may play a role:

 

Age

The aging process causes a general decline of all the bodily systems over time, and such is true of the veins as well. As the aging process occurs, the valves in the veins that regulate blood flow may become weaker and break, which results in blood that gets pulled backward down the veins instead of up and out of the leg.  Aging alone is not usually felt to be causal however, as not all elderly patients will develop varicose or spider veins, and most that do usually will note they have one of the 3 risk factors noted above.

 

Body Weight

If you are obese or overweight, your weight may have played a role in the development of your leg veins.  Once again, family history, female gender, or trauma were still likely to be the main factors, but an unhealthy body weight puts additional pressure on the leg veins which can cause the veins to more rapidly weaken and break, becoming varicose or spider veins.  Body weight is also an important factor in recurrence following treatment, as overweight patients are much more likely to develop new veins more quickly than a patient who maintains a normal body weight.

Inactivity

Another factor that may contribute to vein problems is inactivity. If you do not have an exercise routine or move your body regularly every day, it may place you at greater risk to develop varicose or spider veins. Activity and exercise promote blood flow and circulation throughout the body. If you are not moving, your blood is not moving effectively, which can lead to venous pooling and increased pressure in your veins.

Occupation

If you work in a field that requires that you spend most of your workday on your feet and standing in one place, (hairdressers, cashiers, factory workers, etc…) this may be a factor that plays a part in the development of your veins. Standing in one place, especially for long hours, puts a lot of pressure on your legs and can therefore speed the development of varicose or spider veins in patients with one of the 3 main risk factors.

What Is the Best Conservative Method to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins?

There are some things that you can do at home to treat your veins, but most of these things are simply a short-term “treatment bandaid,” meant to help you feel better temporarily and slow progression.  They will not help get rid of your existing veins or make them look any better, and for most people, gravity will eventually cause things to get bad enough that conservative measures will no longer be effective at controlling their symptoms either.

Exercise

Committing to a daily exercise plan, whether that’s a workout at a gym or it’s a brisk walk, may help to reduce the future formation of varicose and spider veins and help your legs feel better. Exercise helps maintain a normal body weight in addition to strengthening your calf muscles which account for >50% of venous return out of the legs!

Eat Well

When you focus on making a healthy diet part of your daily lifestyle, you will be able to better manage and maintain a healthy weight, or lose the weight you need to. This will help decrease your risk of developing new  veins as your body mass index begins to normalize.

Elevate Your Legs

Make a concerted effort to elevate your legs whenever possible when you are sitting or lying down. This will make gravity work for you instead of against you, allowing return blood flow even through broken veins and temporarily preventing blood pooling in your veins. For those patients who are having a hard time continuing to exercise because of leg pain that worsens after their workout, build a brief period of elevation into the end of your exercise period to allow the very acidic blood caused by the metabolites of exercise to easily drain out of the legs and reduce the discomfort that it would normally cause.

Compression Stockings

All doctors will talk to you about compression stockings because they can do to things that work together to make your legs feel better.  First they squash your legs, preventing much of the blood from pooling in your broken veins.  Second, compression helps reduce inflammation.  This combination results in less blood pooling in your leg, and less inflammation developing from the blood that does pool, synergistically making your legs feel better.  Graduated compression stockings are also one of the only things shown to be helpful at slowing the progression of vein disease by creating a pressure gradient in the leg to help lift the blood up and out, thus countering the effects of gravity.

Treating Varicose Veins In the Office

We offer options from all the different categories of treatment that will eliminate varicose and spider veins. These methods use different techniques based on many different factors including which veins are affected, how large the veins are, how extensive the veins are, and what your ultimate goals are. The best plan of treatment differs from one person to the next because varicose veins and spider veins develop and affect different people with different degrees of severity. Our treatment options include:

  • Endovenous Thermal Ablation (Laser or Radiofrequency)
  • Ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy (Including Varithena)
  • Ambulatory Micro-Phlebectomy
  • Traditional sclerotherapy
  • Surface laser
  • Electrocautery

 

A Comprehensive Approach

At Madison Vein & Laser at Madison Medispa, we take a comprehensive approach to the vein treatment process and begin the treatment with a consultation which includes a complimentary screening diagnostic Duplex ultrasound venous evaluation for all of our patients.  This is a non-invasive, diagnostic test that utilizes sound waves to see inside the body revealing the size of your veins, their exact location, and how well they are functioning. This ultrasound screening process allows us to create a custom treatment plan for you, in addition to helping you avoid wasting time and money on treatments that never had a chance to work in the first place!  Note: If you had treatment somewhere else that did not accomplish your goals and you did not have a screening ultrasound before your treatment, you may simply have had a vein problem that needed a different kind of treatment which could have been easily clarified with a screening ultrasound evaluation!

Am I a Candidate for Vein Treatment?

Current vein treatment methods have become so minimally invasive that if you have unsightly or painful varicose or spider veins, you are most likely a candidate for one of our vein removal methods.  During your initial consultation, we will review your health history, discuss your concerns, examine your veins, and develop a customized treatment plan to achieve your treatment goals.  Many patients will even have insurance coverage for their procedures!

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today!

You’ve lived with your painful or unsightly veins for long enough. There are simple solutions that will remove your veins and help you love your legs again. The most common comment from our patients is that they are kicking themselves for not coming in for treatment sooner!  Contact us today at Madison Med Spa in Waunakee, WI, and schedule your initial vein consultation.