For many people, dressing for the summer means donning shorts and capris. For those who suffer with spider veins and varicose veins, they may not be so enthusiastic to store away their slacks until fall.
As many as 80 million Americans suffer from spider veins and/or varicose veins. Women of childbearing age or older, are more at risk than men to develop these conditions. Hereditary influences, hormonal changes and aging are factors that can contribute to both spider and varicose veins.Spider veins are caused by the dilation of a small group of blood vessels near the skin’s surface. They are most often found on the legs in a web or sunburst pattern and are usually red, blue or purple. Spider veins are frequently linked with larger, underlying varicose veins.
Varicose veins are deeper than spider veins. Their enlarged and contorted appearance is due to the weakening of the vein’s walls or valves.
Although the most common complaint of varicose veins and spider veins is the unsightly appearance, both of these conditions have few but some serious symptoms. Spider and varicose veins symptoms are often associated with heaviness, aching, throbbing and itching that can intensify when standing. Varicose veins more serious symptoms are phlebitis which is inflammation of the vein; thrombosis which is the formation of blood clots that enlarge the vein; and venous stasis ulcers which are formed by improper drainage of enlarged veins.
Cooper University Hospital has board-certified surgeons who are experts in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of spider veins and varicose veins.
“The Cooper Vein Center offers numerous treatment options using minimally invasive techniques and state-of-the-art procedures,” says James B. Alexander, M.D., Head of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Cooper University Hospital.
The options available for treating spider veins and varicose veins are laser ablation, segmental phlebectomies and injection sclerotherapy. All of these procedures are offered on an outpatient basis. Physicians of The Cooper Vein Center base their treatment recommendation on the patient’s general health, age and the seriousness of the condition.
To make an appointment with a Cooper University Hospital physician at an office near you, please call 1-800-8-COOPER (800-826-6737) to speak with a member of our physician referral and information service.