Dr. Lawrence N. Gray

Have beautiful, healthy looking legs once more with Sclerotherapy, the Gold Standard in Treatment!

You can free yourself from the discomfort and self-consciousness of varicose and spider veins and restore a clear, youthful appearance to your legs. A consultation at the Skin Wellness Center at Atlantic Plastic Surgery, will help determine the best course of treatment for your legs.

At Atlantic Plastic Surgery, we treat spider and reticular veins with sclerotherapy. During your consultation, if you are determined to have the large type of varicose veins, we will refer you to a general surgeon.

  • Spider Vein Before
    Before
  • Spider Vein After
    After

What are varicose veins and spider veins? What is the difference between them?

Both men and women as they age, can develop unsightly and sometimes uncomfortable veins on their legs. Superficial leg veins, also known as spider veins, are small, dilated surface veins that can be pink, red, or purple and appear as lines or clusters on ankles, lower legs, or thighs. They differ from varicose veins because they do not protrude above the skin. They can occur alone or along with larger varicose veins. Spider veins can cause discomfort and burning, as well as cosmetic problems.

Varicose veins are large, twisted, swollen, protruding veins near the surface of the skin. Varicose veins often run in families. Aging also increases your risk for having varicose veins. Varicose veins are misshapen with blood that should be flowing back to the heart. Instead, blood pools in the veins.

Varicose veins can cause an aching, burning, or a heavy, throbbing feeling in the legs, particularly after long periods spent standing up. Swelling in your feet and ankles may occur, as well as itching over the vein.

Varicose veins, large or small, can sometimes lead to more serious problems:

  • leg swelling,
  • calf pain and swelling
  • skin color changes
  • dry, thinned skin
  • inflammation skin
  • scaling skin

Varicose veins are fairly common and aren’t usually the sign of a more serious problem, but in some cases, varicose veins may be the sign of a blockage in a deeper vein called deep vein thrombosis. In this case, Dr. Ballentyne will refer you to a general surgeon.

What is the cause of spider veins?

The cause of spider veins is not known, although they tend to run in families and occur more often in women. Female hormones or pregnancy are often a factor. But, they can also form because of high venous reflux from larger veins that are not visible to the eye. Increased blood reflux causes even the smallest veins to swell, but a person can be perfectly healthy and have spider veins. Spider veins can be caused by injury or clothing that is too tight, but are not caused by standing although standing for long periods of time can make them worse. Although exercise, weight loss, and support hose may limit the number of new vessels, it will not prevent their development.

How can spider veins be treated?

Dr. Ballentyne treats both varicose and spider veins with “injection sclerotherapy”, the safest, most economical, and most common treatment. A chemical solution is injected into the vein, which causes the vein to become inflamed. Comcation is applied and vein walls scar and close down, blocking the flow of blood. Blood is redirected to healthy veins, and the varicose or spider veins become invisible. Treated veins represent only a very small number of the veins in your legs carrying blood, making it easy for other veins to compensate, returning blood to the heart.

Visit our Before and After Photo Gallery to see vein photos.

Is it painful?

The only pain is a needle stick. Results are seen almost immediately, although it may take weeks for the veins to reabsorb completely. The initial reaction of redness or bruising will usually go away in seven days, and the veins slowly disappear over two to six weeks.