It is easy to dismiss vein problems like varicose as only cosmetic issues, but their impact goes beyond just how your legs look. Varicose veins affect about 20 percent of the adult population at any given moment, and they are more common in women than men.
Of the 20 percent of people with diseased veins, some will experience pain, heaviness in their legs, muscle cramping, and swelling. Some may develop potentially serious ulcers in areas around the veins.
Getting help at the AnMed Health Vein Clinic introduces you to a dedicated medical practice that focuses on treating vein disease and problems that relate to it. We can diagnose and treat these issues all in one place.
AnMed Health’s Vein Clinic is improving the lives of patients suffering from varicose and spider veins. Our skilled vein specialists have training and experience in the most advanced methods of treating vein disease.
What is a Vein Clinic?
A vein clinic takes a collaborative approach to treating vein disease. Specialists have expertise in vascular medicine, interventional radiology, and vascular surgery. That means a vein clinic can provide a full range of diagnostic and treatment options for those with varicose and spider veins.
Someone considering going to a vein clinic is likely suffering from heaviness or pain in their legs. They may see veins that appear swollen or twisted, or they may have gone to a primary care doctor and been told they have vein disease. The vein clinic specialist can map out the affected veins and create a treatment plan individualized for your needs.
Conditions Treated at AnMed Health Vein Clinic
The Vein Clinic at AnMed Health provides specialized care that focuses on varicose and spider veins. Veins are vessels that carry unoxygenated blood to the heart, frequently working against the forces of gravity.
When the mechanics of these veins don’t work correctly, they swell and twist. That is what you see when a varicose vein appears on your leg. That swollen vein you can see clearly on your calf is near the surface of the skin, but not all varicose veins are, some are deep in the tissue, and you can’t see them. You might feel them, though, as your legs burn or become heavy when you walk.
The AnMed Health Vein clinic in Anderson treats vein disease, which is an umbrella term for several conditions that affect the vascular system, including varicose and spider veins.
Spider veins are tiny, damaged, dilated veins that sit under the surface of the skin. They get their name from the web-like appearance you might see on your legs or face. The thin red, purple or blue thin lines connect and branch out, making them look like a colorful spider web.
Unlike their larger counterpart, varicose veins, spider veins rarely cause pain. They are simply a smaller version of varicose veins, though.
Veins, no matter what their size, have a tough job -- moving blood to the heart. There are valves built into the walls of veins to make it possible for them to move blood around even up from the lower limbs. When the muscles in the vein walls contract to push blood forward, the valves pop open. When the muscles relax, those valves snap shut to keep blood from moving backward.
Certain factors, like age, can cause the vein walls to lose some of their flexibility, or the valves may weaken. When this happens, some valves may gap open enough that blood flows backward and pools around the next working valve. The blood builds up around that valve, engorging the veins and causing them to swell and twist.
That is what you see with spider veins. These tiny veins move blood from near the skin’s surface to larger vessels that lead to the heart. When the damaged valves cause blood pooling, the engorged veins show through the skin or mucus membranes.
Varicose and spider veins are the same things except for one key exception — size. Varicose veins are the larger vessels in the vascular system. They also have valves built into the walls that open and close to keep blood from moving backward. When the valves gap, the blood pools, and the vein swells.
Some varicose veins are deep in the tissue, so you can’t see them, but they are just as swollen and twisted as the ones you do see. You might feel them, though, as your legs become achy at night or after you've been sitting. They may be responsible for the muscle cramps you get in your calves, as well.
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Veins than are dark blue or purple
- Veins that are twisted and bulging
- Achy legs
- Heavy feeling legs
- Burning, throbbing, and muscle cramps in the lower legs
- Itching around the veins
- Skin discoloration
The pain and heaviness in the legs will likely worsen after you have been standing or sitting for a long time.
Varicose veins are prevalent, especially among women in the U.S. The American College of Phlebology estimates half of the adult women in this country develop them. Risk factors for varicose veins include:
- Age — They tend to be more common in older individuals
- Gender — More women get them than men
- Pregnancy — Blood volume increases with pregnancy. That, along with hormonal changes, can cause varicose veins in women expecting a child.
- Family history — They tend to run in families.
- Obesity — Being overweight puts pressure on the veins and may cause valves to gap.
- Standing or sitting for long periods.
Spider vein treatment and that for varicose veins can range from self-care to endoscopic vein surgery. One of the least invasive and most effective treatments for both spider and varicose veins is sclerotherapy.
Spider and Varicose Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy)
Sclerotherapy is a procedure where the doctor injects a solution that causes the vein to close. The injection, usually a salt, irritates the lining of the vein, which causes it to collapse. Over time, the body reroutes the flow of the blood to healthy veins, and the treated one disappears.
For the most part, the procedure is painless. The vein specialists use a very tiny needle to inject the drug, especially for spider vein treatment in Anderson. And the injection provides a minimal amount of the drug at one time. Some might experience discomfort with the injection and feel cramping for a minute or two. It may also take more than one procedure to force the collapse of the affected vein.
What to Expect
Sclerotherapy in Anderson is an outpatient procedure done right in the clinic. The length of the treatment depends on many factors. AnMed Health Vein Clinic provides both 30-minute and 60-minute sessions for $150 and $250, respectively.
Why AnMed Health Vein Clinic?
AnMed Health provides a vibrant blend of caring and science. We believe that serving the people of South Carolina is a mandate that demands we provide gold standard health care that includes dedicated practices like the AnMed Health Vein Clinic in Anderson.
By coming to the AnMed Health Vein Clinic, you are cutting out the middleman to streamline your care. In one facility, we can diagnose and treat your vein disease using the latest, clinically-proven procedures.
Call AnMed Health Vascular Medicine at 864.225.8671 for a sclerotherapy consultation and get back to feeling confident about showing off your beautiful legs.