What happens when I have the spider veins removed from my legs?
I moved to New York and got an apartment with an entire wall of mirrors. The mirrors are everywhere and above them are lights that show off every one of my body's flaws. It was in these mirrors that I saw for the first time the pale blue lines that wormed their way down the sides of both my legs like interstates on a highway map.
"My god," I thought, "Just as the saying goes, I am turning into my mother."
What I had was a case of spider veins, not the varicose veins my mother had running down the inside of her left leg like a Adirondack mountain range. Still, I worried that the spider veins were a precursor to my own mini-mountain range and so I kept the unsightly veins covered under knee-length skirts in summer. It was just as well that I never was a beach person, I thought. No one had to see the veins since I was never in a bathing suit. And then, two winters ago, a friend convinced me to go to Jamaica, for a week-long beach vacation and my spider veins were outed. So was I. Turns out I'm a closet beach freak (those are my legs pictured here from the vacation). Since bathing suits are now in my future, the unsightly veins had to go. Stat. I went to the Web and started researching. My search led me to Dermatologist. Sclerotherapy Introduction Together, spider veins and varicose veins affect approximately 80 million people in the United States each year. Spider veins are most commonly located on the face and legs. In contrast, varicose veins tend to be localized on the backside of the calf or along the inside of the leg. Although physicians do not fully understand the cause of spider and varicose veins, they do attribute factors such as genetics, weight gain, and hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy, as well as sitting or standing for extended periods of time. In addition to being unsightly, some types of spider and varicose veins can be associated with varying degrees of pain and discomfort, and in some instances, more serious medical conditions. As the most common treatment option available, sclerotherapy is a safe, effective, nearly painless procedure used to treat spider veins and varicose veins on the body. What Causes Spider and Varicose Veins? Blood typically flows from superficial veins into deep veins, which are often connected by perforating veins. Normally functioning veins have uni-directional valves which prevent blood from flowing backwards in the vein, as it travels upwards toward the heart and lungs. If valves in the perforating veins or superficial veins do not work properly, some blood will be allowed to flow backwards, and collect in a pool below. As blood accumulates, it exerts increasing pressure on the walls of the vein, which causes them to weaken and become dilated, or stretched. As a result, spider veins or varicose veins form in the region. The image above shows how varicose veins, reticular veins and spider veins originate from the superficial venous system of veins - in this cartoon the great saphenous or short saphenous veins. Image taken fromwww.TheWhiteleyClinic.co.uk on January 15, 2009.